Poetry Pep Up Day Five: Gold Strike! (Golden Shovel)

Day Five and you’re almost done! You’ve struck gold!

The golden shovel is a relatively new form of poem developed by Terrance Hayes, inspired by a Gwendolyn Brooks poem. (You can click on their names to read their poems.) I’m pretty sure it taps into some left brain, right brain creativity, because I go through mental gymnastics during the writing process, never know quite what I am going to end up with when, and the finished product is more eloquent than what I would ordinarily write. I adore golden shovels – a perfect combination of muscle and creativity, and a great way to round off our challenge!


  • Find a strike line* (any length) from an existing poem and attribute it. (Who wrote the original line, and in what poem?)
  • Put each word from the strike line at the end of individual lines in your poem… If your strike line has four words, your poem has four lines. (The strike lines in my poems are written in bold. )
  • Now fill in the gaps to make your poem. Lines can be any length and on any topic.

* the strike line does not have to be a complete line, but it must be an unbroken chunk of text – either a portion of a line, or spread across multiple lines. The longer your strike line, the longer your poem.


That’s it! Five days of poetry to put some pep in your step, and some muscle and creativity in your writing.

This afternoon, at 4pm Qld-time, Trudie Leigo is hosting another Zoom meet, where we can come together and chat; about poetry, about the challenge, what you gained from it, and perhaps share your favourite poem – and where to from here! If you need more details, either email Trudie (t.leigo@cqu.edu.au), or let me know via a comment – or on socials. We’d love to see you there!

Thank-you to everyone who has participated – and special thanks to those who have been sharing to the hashtag and commenting within the community. I’m looking forward to seeing what you produce today! If you’ve been playing along at home, how did you go? Did you write a poem each day? Did you find new poetry forms to play with? Was there a poem or form you’re especially excited about? I’d love to hear from you, too! 🙂

Sincere thank-you to CQRASN for funding this project, supporting not just regional Queensland creatives, but creative peeps across Australia, and the globe. It has not been an easy week, but I’m hoping the Poetry Pep Up has helped you perhaps find joy in unexpected places, or words that might not find expression, otherwise.

Thank-you Trudie for your support and enthusiasm. It is very much appreciated!

Comments from readers are purrrrfect!

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