Saturday, April 6, 2013


Last summer at the Hamline residency we were lucky to have both Ron Koertge and Marilyn Nelson lecture on different poetry forms. Marilyn discussed the Golden Shovel*** and Ron the pantoum.

One thing I enjoyed about both sessions was that they made concrete an idea that has sustained my writing life through doubts and rejections: to keep going it’s important to enjoy the puzzle-solving aspect of the work. How can I make this work? What if I tried something this way? What happens when I do this?

I was reminded of all this recently when reading Marion Dane Bauer’s blog. Marion is a Newbery Honor author, a veteran teacher, a prolific writer, and wise woman. She blogs about the writing life, and if you allow, I’d like to direct you from here to her tonight. Enjoy.

***The Golden Shovel Poetic Form
This poetic form combines a borrowed line from an existing poem with an author's own unique work.  Borrow an important or memorable line from a poem and create your own poem with each word of the borrowed line ending each line of your new creation.

1 comment:

  1. Wise and true words (but difficult to swallow) from Marion Dane Bauer. And a Golden Shovel poem is like the Rubic's Cube of poetry for me. Give me a pantoum any day. I'm just saying.