Poetry Friday: Truth, the Last Word


Once again, I am sharing a poem written in response to Laura Shovan’s Found Poetry Project. This year’s theme is “10 Words Found in the News.” For Thursday’s inspiration, Mary Lee Hahn chose Elizabeth Warren’s words from a CNN interview after she was banned from speaking on the Senate floor by Mitch McConnell. “They can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth,” Warren proclaimed.

As soon as I saw these words, Mary Lee’s post on Nikki Grimes’s amazing new poetry collection, One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance (Bloomsbury, 2017) came to mind. Using the Golden Shovel form, Grimes uses lines from and/or entire poems written by giants of the Harlem Renaissance to create new verses.  Each line in the new poem ends with a word from the original verse. (Be sure to read Mary Lee’s post for a much clearer explanation. Better yet, get yourself a copy of One Last Word and read Grimes’s note about the form. The poetry, both the original poems and the new poems they inspired, is breathtaking. Warren’s statement seemed to be tailor made for a Golden Shovel poem. Here is my attempt at the form.


For more information about climate change, watch this video from Yale Climate Connections.

Please be sure to visit Katie at The Logonauts for the Poetry Friday Roundup.


23 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Truth, the Last Word

  1. So much to love about this post! I had missed Mary Lee’s post and wasn’t familiar with One Last Word so now I’m off to check both of those out. can see why the Golden Shovel form appealed to you for Laura Shovan’s challenge yesterday. It was a perfect fit. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the lectures on our recent Antarctic trip noted the visible reduction to the hole in the ozone layer. I certainly hope it keeps closing, because we are melting here today! (And worse predicted this weekend.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t tried this form yet. You have done a brilliant job. It’s February and for the first time that I can remember the azaleas are blooming. They usually bloom in March. I do not understand how anyone can refute real science.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m intrigued by the golden shovel form, but haven’t tried it myself. I like how your poem adds another layer of context to the quote from Warren. There are so many issues that some are trying to shut up. I hope the truth shines through before it’s too late.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You know that I love how you crafted this because I saw it earlier. It is wonderful, a truly plaintive cry.I am so dismayed by the news about the EPA, and if we are, how must the scientists feel! It’s time to shout that truth instead of being quiet. Thanks, Catherine.

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  6. Thank you, Catherine, the video is powerful. I love the scientist that said, “if I have to come out as a real person, so be it. I’m a scientist and a real person.” I like this line, is there time to tell how close we are to the edge” ?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t tried this form yet, but your wonderful poem has inspired me. The last line of your poem really hits home, and we sure do need more facing the truth these days!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your choice of golden shovel, and Michael Ratcliffe’s villanelle were PERFECT choices of form for the quote/10+1 words. Way to pack extra meaning in by using global warming as your topic. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, Catherine, this is exquisite. I need to spend more time with poets – the truth tellers of today! I haven’t stopped by your blog for awhile, but you’ve been busy writing beautiful, honest words. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] My friend Heidi Mordhorst is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. Heidi is a passionate, brilliant, funny, caring person. She brings these qualities and more to everything she does. Poetry Friday Roundups don’t usually have a theme other than poetry, but from time to time, the host will suggest an optional, unifying theme. Several weeks ago, Heidi announced that she wanted to highlight and support the worldwide School Strike for Climate that took place today. I wanted to write a poem worthy of this important event. As I looked through my notebooks for an idea, I discovered I already had. (Read more about this poem here.) […]


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