I admit that I adore this poem. Mostly because the finished product reminds me of a John Hughes movie. It is such a misfit, just like he was.

I kind of want to write a million poems about young fair hearts now.


Speaking of young fair hearts… I recently finished up teaching a little poetry in the Hamline YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP. (Meghan Maloney Vinz is a genius for many reasons, but this summer day-camp for budding writers is a crystal clear example of how much she gives of herself to support and build a writing community for the people who need it most.) What I want to say about that group of students is Thank You. I was floored by their talent, their motivation, their kindness, and their heavy journals spilling words.

(PSA) If you have high-school aged writers in your life, seriously, send them. If you don’t, but would like to support these young writers, start a scholarship fund and send a writer for free or half price. This is an organization that deserves support. The enrollment fee is very small, all things considered, but (most months) I would have a hard time sending my own sons without a partial scholarship, and as a child I would have never been able to participate in such a thing without a full scholarship.

Young fair hearts.

Prompt: Here is one I gave the students. It is a favorite prompt of mine and could easily work for a procedural/experimental poem. It is a longer one.

Step one: Find a poem that sings to you.

Step two: Highlight a line from the poem that sings to you…  a turning or striking line.

Step three: Write the line, one word on each line, down the right hand margin of your page. If the line has 3 words, the poem will have 3 lines. 6 words = 6 lines. And so on.

Step four: Fill in the lines, with each word from the line serving as your line’s end word.


This is called a “Golden Shovel” poem. See:

Consider things like: enjambment (running your sentence from one line to the next), rhythm, keeping the lines the same length, and whether or not you want to reference the original poet’s intent.

Lastly: title the poem what you will, but credit the original author by writing “after Name of Poet”.