Dancing in the Centre of a Noun

(from Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Anne Hathaway’)

Encircling all my words with his,
he caressed them with a gentle touch,
slipped them on as if they were a
shoe, a glove, a familiar verb
he desired for his own; dancing
together to a melody in
quadruple time, echoing the
beat of hearts, we were the centre
of the serious ceremony of
the allemande: we were a
union of verb and noun.

Kim M. Russell, 22nd April 2017


Image found on Wikipedia

On Day 22 of The Poetry School’s NaPoWriMo prompts, Julia has presented us with The Golden Shovel, a modern form, which has really taken off since it was invented by Terrance Hayes. She wants us to take a line from a poem we admire, then use each word in that line as the end words in each of our own lines, keeping them in order. If all goes well, we should be able to read the original poems down the right hand margins of our poems.

She has given the example of Terrance Hayes’ ‘The Golden Shovel’, after which the form was named. If we read down the right margin, we will see Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem ‘We Real Cool’. Julia says that Hayes’ poem uses all of Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem and does so twice but we only need to use one line, and to do it once!



6 thoughts on “Dancing in the Centre of a Noun

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