“Some may wonder why,” a golden shovel, and a challenge reminder #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone is our lovely hostess this week. I had the great good fortune to meet Molly IRL, as they say, a couple of weeks ago at Heinemann’s annual teacher tour in Portsmouth, NH. Molly and I have been chatting through comments here on PF, on our Tuesday Slices, and in the TeachWrite Facebook community for some time. It was fun to finally meet face to face, albeit for just a short time…this time!

Molly has been crafting the most gorgeous sonnet for some time now, and it’s finally ready for it’s debut. Don’t miss it! You’ll be swept away by The Solace of the Ocean.

One of my goals for the summer was to try different types of writing (tipping my hat to you, Jennifer Laffin!), including new poetry forms. A golden shovel was on my hit list — taking a line from someone else’s poem and then using each word in that line as the last word of each line of the new poem. But which poem to borrow a line from?

I’ve been talking a lot about notebooks this summer with the goddess of writing notebooks, Michelle Haseltine, the TeachWrite community, and on other social media venues, so notebooks it is! Who better to borrow from then Ralph Fletcher, one of the pied pipers of the students-using-writing-notebooks community. His poem, It’s a Place, was the perfect fit. (Click the link to read his original text.)

So here it is, my first golden shovel, borrowing from Ralph’s first line, “Why am I keeping this notebook.”

Some may wonder why (Golden Shovel)
Some may wonder why
But its who I am
Whiling away the hours, my pen and I
Words sounds, feelings, oddities, life, stored away for safe keeping
Ready and waiting for a time such as this
To be quarried like gemstones from my notebook

Poetry challenge reminder: I’m hosting Poetry Friday next week, on August 17. I threw a bird-related poem challenge out last week to anyone willing to fly along. Your poem can be about any bird you like, or birds in general. It can be in any form you like. Just wing it! If you are stumped, take a look at all the bird-related wonders on Wonderopolis.org. Choose one and create a “found” poem by highlighting key words, or why not try a “blackout poem,” crossing out/covering up unused words.


Thanks for visiting and join us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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19 thoughts on ““Some may wonder why,” a golden shovel, and a challenge reminder #PoetryFriday

  1. I enjoy doing golden shovel poems. I like how they honor the original poet, but find their own direction. I love your metaphor of gems from a mine found in your notebook. I typically use my notebook for drafting. Revising happens when I type it. Nevertheless, my notebook is a place to be messy and imperfect, in other words, the real me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Golden shovel poems are so fun. I know you grappled with it, but you rocked it!!! You’ve also inspired me not only with your excellent poem but with the call to join you next week. I already have a rough draft on one of my favorite birds sitting in a notebook. Maybe it’s time to polish it off. Thanks, Christie!


  3. Congrats on your first golden shovel! Well done! It’s an especially apt form considering your mining/quarrying analogy–which I love! Thanks for the kind words about my sonnet and for the invitation to write some bird poetry for next week. I’m in!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s lots of goodness in this post, Christie: Ralph’s poem, your notebook Golden Shovel (1st time congratulations), shoutout to Wonderopolis, and a creative challenge). I’m excited to create and read everyone’s poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “To be quarried like gemstones” (#metoo…can I use this hashtag for something positive? I hope so…)

    My poem today was quarried from my notebook. It was an abandoned first draft from a poem that went nowhere. I left behind the metaphor and tried writing reality and got bogged down. Lesson: sometimes you should just stick with the metaphor even if it can mean a thousand things and not the exact thing you were trying to say.

    Liked by 1 person

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