ONE LAST WORD -- a gorgeous and thought-provoking collection of poetry using "The Golden Shovel" poetic method
One Last Word by Nikki Grimes (2017, Bloomsbury USA Children's; 128 pages)
Nikki Grimes' One Last Word transports readers to the Harlem Renaissance through the “Golden Shovel” poetic form to create original poems based on the works of master poets like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Jean Toomer, and others. The Golden Shovel poetic form borrows words from another poem and uses them at the end of each line in a new piece. Nikki Grimes explains how very challenging it is to create a new poem that way, especially in terms of coming up with something that makes sense. But it is precisely this form that transforms this book into a treasure in every sense.
Here is an example of the fantastic work you will find in this book: using the sentence “Thunder blossoms gorgeously above our heads” from Jean Toomer's poem "Storm Ending." Grimes created her own poem called "Truth", which goes:
“The truth is, every day we rise is like thunder-
a clap of surprise. Could be echoes of trouble, or blossoms
of blessing. You never know what garish or gorgeously
disguised memories-to-be might rain down from above.
So, look up! Claim that cloud with the silver lining. Our
job , if you ask me, is to follow it. See where it heads.”
The gorgeous original poems are also paired with one-of-a kind artwork from great contemporary African American illustrators including Cozbi A. Cabrera, Christopher Myers, Brian Pinkney, and Elizabeth Zunon. The book also includes a brief historical note on the period and brief biographies of each poet that facilitates an astonishing radical, emotional and thought-provoking dialogue between past and present. The voices you will hear in One Last Word belong to proud parents, and determined children and elders sharing themes of racial bias, beauty, and pride.
This is a must read for poetry lovers of all ages, and for those searching for inspirational books based on history.
Find this title in our catalog: One Last Word
Recommended by: Maite