A few weeks ago I was wondering what to share here to kick off the month of June, and what should I discover but a budding poet friend of mine who had written a golden shovel, of all things!
(Golden shovels are poems that take a line from another poem or book and use each of the words in that line as the end words to each line of the new poem.)
Anyway, my friend had written their poem as a form of empowerment, as a way of feeling positive in the face of adversity. I asked them if they’d mind if I posted it here, and they agreed, as long as I kept their name secret. I didn’t question, I simply happily obliged.
I Shout, I Sing (golden shovel from Whitman’s ‘I Sing the Body Electric’)
Some show, some flow, some hide their pride; not I,
no, not I – I shout! I raise my voice and sing!
Declare it to the world – the hometowns, downtowns, the
little spaces in-between – this is my dream, my body,
my life – a right to be part of the race of humanity, no vanity, this is my song, strong and electric!
– Anon. 6-2-22
It’s interesting to note that Whitman’s poem, which was originally never titled and originally never even had the line “I sing the body electric” in it – electricity really wasn’t a very common thing at the time, you see – is about loving one’s body and loving the human form itself, in all its various iterations. I told my friend I thought it was a perfect poem to use for a golden shovel! (You can read Whitman’s poem HERE)
While we’re on the subject of famous classic poets, be sure to head on over to Karen Edmisten’s blog, where she is hosting today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup with Yeats’ ever-popular “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” Have a wonderful weekend!
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8 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “I Shout, I Sing” for National Pride Month”
Thanks for sharing your friend’s golden shovel, Matt. I particularly like the internal rhyme. “This is my song, strong and electric” is a perfect ending.
Singing ‘the body electric’ is a wonderful way to celebrate Pride Month, Matt. Thanks for sharing this poem written by your friend!
Thank you, Linda!
Wow…isn’t that incredible, to have referenced electric before electricity was common. I wonder where that came from. Makes me think deeply about the word choices I make as a poet. I mean, what are the chances that we might refer to something that few others would understand – in order to reach for that perfect word? Thanks for sharing this, Matt!
Thanks, Patricia. As we all know, poets can rarely stop tinkering with their poems, so I’m sure ol’ Walt felt a burst of inspiration when he realized he should/could include a reference to electricity!
Thank you, Anon, for your powerful poem, and for allowing Matt to share it here!
Matt, I enjoyed reading your friend’s golden shovel poem and sharing the Summer Reader poster. Summer Reading is an important event for children. I am glad to see I Am Today on the advertisement.