Next Line, Please

“April Is the Cruelest Month, [Because]”

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By David Lehman

April 5, 2016


 

We have an exciting new project on our hands. But first, here are two versions of our renga, one provided by Millicent Caliban:

A tropic spring night,
Making Mole poblano—
We drank wine with ice

Zinfandel: dark, fruity, rich,
Pairs well, or so he told me

The scent of chiles,
Chocolate and canela—
Vivaldi: salud!

Senses primed for sweet and tart
Will yield to bliss before dawn.

… And the other by Paul Michelsen:

A tropic spring night,
Making Mole poblano—
We drank wine with ice

Below clouds’ close voyages —
moon tipped on its slender back

The scent of chiles,
Chocolate and canela—
Vivaldi: salud!

Wash out the taste of winter
With this: La Primavera

While the renga as a form can theoretically be extended indefinitely, this seems a good place to suspend the effort.


Our next contest has to do with the current month. I want us to take a look at the famous opening of T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land”:

April is the cruelest month, breeding

Now remove the word “breeding,” substitute an invisible “because,” and write a worthy second line.

Deadline: Sunday, April 10, 2016, at 5 P.M.


David Lehman is a poet and the general editor of The Best American Poetry series. He teaches at The New School in New York City.

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