Golden Shovel Poetry is a style of verse created by Terrance Hayes. This form of found poetry allows the writer to take a favorite poem and use it to make something original. I experimented with found poetry last year when I wrote Blank Verse poems. Since I have a small booklet of William Blake poems on my shelf that I’ve planned to reread, I decided to start the month of July playing with the words written by this Romantic Era poet. Blake didn’t receive much recognition in his life. Some people thought he was insane. I will call this first poem Butcher’s Knife.
The rules for writing a Golden Shovel Poem and Butcher’s Knife
While researching this style of poetry created by Terrance Hayes, there seem to be four simple rules. You can use as many lines of the poem as you want, and the poem will end with you being your creation. I find this idea interesting. Written below are the three simple rules.
1). Choose a poem that you like. I will use poems by William Blake in my July poetic adventure.
2)Use each word in the line or lines as the end word in your poem. Make sure they stay in order.
3) Construct an entire poem around them. The meaning doesn’t have to be the same.
4) Give the original poet credit who wrote the line or lines you used.
In this poetic adventure, I will stick to using poems written by William Blake. This small poem I call Butcher’s Knife will consist of the end of lines taken from Blake’s Auguries of Innocence.
Butcher’s Knife Consider the soul and the Butcher’s Knife wild And run like a frightened deer, Caught up in life’s wand’ring You ramble here To escape & End up there The hangman always keeps The rope and the Appearance of being human While he steals your Soul And your fragile life from The one who held you with care The sameness of the hangman and the Butcher of the Lamb Often sorely misud’d There is a difference in the breeds One works in Public The other in silent strife Both occupations are sanctioned and Both positions are legal, yet The hangman never forgives The one sentenced for crime but the Other one can become the Butcher’s Pet and escape the Knife.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!