Introducing “The Silver Lining”

Those of you that have been following me would now be familiar with the Golden Shovel – a poetic form that pulls line(s) from another poem and creates a new poem using those words sequentially as the final word in each line of the new poem. I ran a mini-collaborative project last month inviting you all to join me in creating Golden Shovels and you can check out some of the amazing work from our community in the Golden Shovel wrap-ups – week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4.

The Golden Shovel is a recently created form by Terrance Hayes and I have a deep respect for his creativity and how this form inherently appreciates the original poem. I also very much enjoy the creativity required to write in this form. It’s truly inspiring. I’ll be bringing back the Golden Shovel in April in a slightly different collaborative project soon to be announced.

Meanwhile, with this post I’m proposing a modified version of the form which I’m calling “The Silver Lining” – which I hope takes all the respect and goodness of The Golden Shovel form but provides just a minor twist that allows for more flexibility. It’s very possible that this is such a minor variation of The Golden Shovel form that it doesn’t warrant a unique name, but I’m giving it a go. This is just an experiment and your more than welcome to join in.

“The Silver Lining” Rules:

1) Just like with The Golden Shovel, select a line (or lines) from a source poem that you appreciate.

2) As with The Golden Shovel, we’ll be crafting a new poem using the words from the original poems’ line(s) selected. However, with The Silver Lining, form you may focus only on the more impactful words and skip the connectors. In both forms you use the source words sequentially as the final word in each line of the new poem.

3) Make sure to credit the original poet and poem.

4) Have fun! If the rules are too rigid for what your muse is calling for then break them!


Prompt: “Cursing the winter solstice sun” (from Under the Solstice Sun by Monty Vern)

Winter’s Curse (Golden Shovel using all 5 words from original line)

Honey sweet lips cursing;

Stoking flames, melting the

Frozen timepieces of winter;

Summoning summer’s solstice;

Accelerating earth ‘round the sun.

Fallen Sun (Silver Lining using only four words from original line — excluding “the”)

She cursing

Anger burning through cold winter

Sharp winds whipping away solstice

Me, her fallen sun.

So, what do you say? Do you want to give The Silver Lining a try? Here’s a prompt to play with. If you decide to try either include it in the comments of this post or link back to this post from yours. I look forward to reading your creations.

Silver Lining Prompt No. 01

“And the sun readies himself for sleep, drowses backward toward the horizon, and the woods whisper while the wind massages the sprawling arms of leaf-thick maples

from Summer by Ross Gay

Note that I’ve italicized the words that I anticipate including in the new Silver Lining poem, but you use your own judgment as to whether to include or exclude a specific word. However, try to keep the essential language from the original. I’m making this up as we go along so don’t be overly cautious about it. Remember, most important is to get creative and have fun.

I’ll post my Silver Lining based on this prompt on March 18th (two weeks from now) and if there are any contributions from the community I’ll include them in a wrap-up post.

Happy waxing poetic!

Be well,



  1. Kathleen says:


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      I hope so! I’m a little too proud of myself for coining the name…haha!


  2. gigglingfattie says:

    Ooooo another thing to try!! I’m excited!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Yay!!! I wasn’t sure if folks would lose interest, but I like this idea so much I wanted to give it a try.


      1. gigglingfattie says:

        I’m excited to try!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This seems fun!!
    I think I will give it a try!


  4. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for the final shovels…
    It’s great to see yet another variation. I think skipping the connectors might make things easier. However, this is a LONG quote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Yes, it is long, but you could always just use part of it if it interests you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely will consider!


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