Looking Golden

This is my poem for NPM22 Flex Scavenger Hunt prompt #5 – Write a Golden Shovel poem or write a poem incorporating the theme of change. The poem is by Anne Brontë, the youngest of the Brontë sisters. She died at the age of 29 yet managed to carve a small space among her more prolific sisters with her novels and poems. This Golden Shovel is written as a Choka – a Japanese form of a series of lines with alternating 5 and 7 syllables and a 7 syllable end line (5/7/5/7/7) in any number of lines often exceeding 100 lines. The poem used is titled Mirth and Mourning and the first part reads:
O cast away your sorrow; —
Awhile, at least, be gay!
If grief must come tomorrow,
At least, be glad today!
==============================
I cry loudly, O
And from my breast I cast
All changes away
And all the tokens of your
False love and points of sorrow
I abide awhile
Recall my heart resting at
The sound of your least
Strident words saying “Just be”
Worlds bedecked in flowers gay
Erased the what if
But now I’m drowning in grief
A changeling that must
Honestly and in truth be come
Newborn of tears tomorrow
When faked love falls at
The temple altar at least
Free from you I’ll be
Relieved the change made me glad
Gained freedom from you today

A new face for this year’s scavenger hunt, Monty Vern, has invited me to join his April Golden Shovel challenge. I considered and then asked, “Why not?” Since there wasn’t a good reason not to participate, I’m jumping in. That means that today you get a twofer! This is free verse because…
“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep” by Robert Frost from his poem – Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

You tricked me into the
Moon lit night and led me into woods
Asking me what my intentions are
Not waiting for an answer saying lovely
Words and making promises dark
You held me, kissed me and
Now I’ll never wake from this sleep deep

As a post script – I don’t often write love poems so I thought I’d change it up and write about love lost. Sometimes we dodge a bullet and don’t even realize it until much later. Sometimes we know immediately. And then there are the times we can’t move fast enough to not get hit….

68 thoughts on “Looking Golden

  1. Wow! First of all your Golden Shovel/Choka is gorgeous. It flows so effortlessly.

    Thanks so much for joining my Golden Shovel poetry collaboration! It’s so interesting to see how each person chooses to use the same prompt is such different ways. It’s fun that you chose a love poem — I’m currently crafting one for your Espinela/passion prompt.

    For anyone interested the Golden Shovel collaboration it is open all month and there are three prompts to choose from. I’ll be pulling all the contributions together in a round-up at the end of the month so we can see the great diversity of thought. You are more then welcome.

    Welcome to Golden Shovel April (an invitation)

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  2. Very impressive! I like how golden shovels sometimes echo the mother poem and sometimes go off in a completely different direction. I submitted a golden shovel to a local contest and none of the judges knew what it was or if it was a legitimate form. They had to Google it, LOL.

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    1. Joan, that compliment coming from you has really made my day! I think it is the same anytime judges are involved. We had a judge for the Student/Faculty Art Show a couple years ago who only understood/was familiar with 2-D work. Not a single 3-D piece was recognized for any award! I guess he though only oil pastels, watercolor, and acrylic paintings were “real art”… That is a funny story though! I hope they gave it due consideration instead of just rejecting it outright!

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    1. Thanks Dodi! I kind of have to do the prompts since I was the one who set them up in the first place. I’d never ask anyone to do a prompt that I wasn’t willing to do myself! I’m tickled that you are enjoying all the fruits of these labors!!

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    1. Glad I was able to introduce you to some new forms! I hope you attempt the Golden Shovel – it can be written as free verse or in any other form as long as there isn’t a required end word rhyme!

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  3. I have never tried a Golden Shovel before – yours are fabulous. Is the key choosing the right text in the first place?

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    1. Hi Marion, yes one of the important steps is selecting a good poem or at least a good line/phrase/stanza. I look for lines that don’t have lots of conjunctions or pronouns as they make the poem lines sound choppy… the other trick is to use enjambment instead of end-stopped lines.

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      1. Thank you for the tips. I’ve had a go – although I think its more prose than poetry. Anyway it was fun to try it ☺️

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