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Why Resurrect It All Now: A Golden Shovel after Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictée"


The Golden Shovel is a poetic form created by Terrance Hayes after Gwendolyn Brooks. Each word of a quoted passage from Cha's book DICTÉE is written into a new poem. At first the words serve as the start of each line.  For example, Cha's "come back" becomes for me, "Come to shrine. / Back step like apologies." The second half of the film reveals me playing the viola and Pavi Mehta dancing.  Cha's words are then placed at the end of each line of my poem.  For example, Cha's "Into the mouth" becomes "We had crawled toward the wreckage and into / its belly where once pelicans nested among the / vertebrae before bones lost nutrition. Its mouth / was missing all its fangs..."


The intention of this poem is to create a space for both memory and mythology, violence and atonement.

Sophia Terazawa is a poet and wrote I AM NOT A WAR (Essay Press).

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