King’s gold

Today on the Ethical ELA Open Write, Kim Johnson challenged teacher-poets to try different versions of the Golden Shovel, which is typically created by borrowing one line of a poem or speech and using it as the beginning or ending words of each line of your own new poem. Kim encouraged using lines from Dr. King’s speeches, in honor of the day.

This is the first time I’ve attempted to write a triple Golden Shovel. I took three meaningful lines from “Letters from Birmingham Jail” – remembering that Dr. King was a minister:

-“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly”(opening words to line 7)
-“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love” (somewhere in the middle, until last 4 lines)
-“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (ending words to line 8)

(Thank you, Kim – and Dr. King).

5 thoughts on “King’s gold

  1. Brilliantly done! Wow! I’ve been sitting with the prompt and getting nothing. I love this line “A ripple
    affects the whole pond; deep undulations, a billowing threat:” I wish we could all awaken to cultivating love. Thanks for your words woven so profoundly with MLK’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Margaret – it seems like formatting alone is causing troubles for everyone. I noticed after posting here that my lines looked scrambled, so I’ve just replaced my poem with a photo as it should look! Something will come to you… it always does, always inspiring and more than “enough” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fran, a triple that flows this beautifully and carries such a powerful message is quite an accomplishment! I think of it like an Olympic gymnast or skater. You land a triple, and you get the gold! And you can wear it proudly! This wasn’t easy – but you made it look that way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I first read your challenge to kick the Golden Shovel up a notch by trying a double or triple, I thought, good heavens, that’s too much for me! I’ve done a double before with the same line but I hadn’t thought of incorporating DIFFERENT lines. Had to play with it on paper first with pencil and a really good eraser, but the wrestling – shall we say productive struggle? – felt good. Thank you for this response and also for the inspiration.


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