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Crossing State Lines: An American Renga by…

Crossing State Lines: An American Renga

by Bob Holman (Editor), Carol Muske-Dukes (Editor)

Other authors: Marilyn Hacker (Author), Adrienne Rich (Contributor), Edward Sanders (Contributor), Paul Simon (Contributor), Anne Waldman (Contributor)

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When I bought this I thought it would be a renga covering all 50 states. It's not; it's something more subtle. The collection records the reflections of the various poets on their season, place. or current events. Each poem, linked the the one previous to it, adds it's own little piece of America. The work as a whole ends up to be quite a bit more than the sum of its parts. I'd very much like to see more renga of this type. ( )
  aulsmith | Nov 30, 2012 |
Renga is a genre of Japanese collaborative poetry which gave rise to the modern haiku style of poetry. The writers of this book have decided to use this collaborative form of poetry to compose a single book of 54 poems each written by a separate poet.

Because these poems are meant to make up one single collaborative poem, all 54 poems should be read in one shot. Each poem reads as a response to the preceding poem. The introduction even states that each poet was given about two days at the most to write his or her response (except, of course, the poet who started the conversation) to the previous poem. Although each poet's style differs from the last, the poem as a whole flows well right to the end.

If you are discouraged to read this book because you don't really care for poetry, you should still give it a chance. After all, the poems read like an artistic ongoing discussion causing you to forget the fact that you're reading poetry. I am not a big poetry reader myself, but I applaud the contributors of this book for creating a unique artistic conversation about the ideas and issues of America. ( )
  Hantsuki | Apr 22, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Holman, BobEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Muske-Dukes, CarolEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hacker, MarilynAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rich, AdrienneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sanders, EdwardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simon, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waldman, AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Haiku summary
Autumn to springtime

Emailing 'round the country

Poets speak their minds

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374132135, Hardcover)

A collaborative poem about America, from fifty-four of our best poets

Crossing State Lines: An American Renga is a poetic relay race across the continent: fifty-four poets responding to ideas of America—and to each other. This is a collaborative journey of impressions—from the election and inauguration of President Obama, through foreclosures, job losses, chords of country music, and bombs in Baghdad, to a poet-soldier’s rifle-sight in Afghanistan.

The renga itself, in the ancient tradition of Japanese linked verse, provides the form of this historic conversation among the poets, as they meditate, within ten lines, on a moment in America. Crossing State Lines begins with Robert Pinsky’s recounting of a line of poetry by Lincoln as fall deepens and “maples / kindle in the East,” and ends some five hundred lines later, with Robert Hass’s “greeny April” on the Pacific coast.

All proceeds from sales go to America: Now and Here.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A collaborative poem about America, from fifty-four of our best poets.

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