On Monday, Esther suggested writing a Golden Shovel poem in honor of poet Gwendolyn Brooks as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month. I have long admired Brooks's poem "We Real Cool." However, even though Brooks and I both grew up in Chicago, I didn't know much about her before reading Esther's post and this bio about her on Chicago's Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy website. According to the Prep Academy bio, Brooks wrote more than 75 poems by the time she was sixteen. While I also wrote lots of poetry in my tween and teen years, I don't believe I came close to that number.
I've been so wrapped in freelance writing and novel editing that I rarely write poetry these days. So I decided to take up Esther's challenge and try my hand at a Golden Shovel poem. I haven't had time to polish it, so please don't judge the poem below too harshly. 😊
My Golden Shovel was inspired by Brooks's poem "Mayor Harold Washington," which begins:
Mayor. Worldman. Historyman.I had moved to the suburbs by the time Washington was elected mayor of the city, but his influence was felt throughout the metropolitan area. So I was especially struck by the line:
Beyond steps that occur and close,
your steps are echo-makers.
I've used these words as the end words for my poem:your steps are echo-makers
--after "Mayor Harold Washington"
Inspired by your life, your words, your
Poetry, I take timid baby steps,
searching for my own words, ones that are
powerful enough to also be Echo-makers.
© Carmela Martino, All rights reserved.
|image courtesy of Pixabay|
By the way, in her post, Esther mentioned that there will be a celebration of The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (University of Arkansas Press) at Chicago's Poetry Foundation this Wednesday, April 12, 2017. You can find details on the Poetry Foundation site.
For more Poetry Month fun, check out this week's Poetry Friday roundup hosted by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem.
Remember to Write with JOY!