Last month, we announced our third Best American Poetry Poem Challenge, for which poets were invited to write an inaugural ode. We received many strong poems and thank all of the poets who took time to compose a poem and enter it here. Our winning poem "This is the Dream," comes to us from Gerald Greland of Bronxville, NY. Of Greland's poem our judge Mark Strand writes, "The overall elegance of "This Is a Dream," its formal grace, the subtlety of its argument, seemed to me exceptional and certainly worthy of first place." Congratulations, Gerald, and thank you.
This Is the Dream
At the creation of the new, there is always
a myth of division – day from night, light
from dark, dawn delivering from the threat
of shadows disrupting rest. True exchange
would turn away from the “from” of malaise
or discontent toward an “and” of hope to unite
this fractured land. We must form anew, forget
what we have feared, honor the entire range
of our American experience. Integrity lays
in a whole greater than its parts: one bright
blazing union forging ahead without regret
or rancor. Today, let us move past estrange-
ment and distrust. We hold within us new ways
of seeing each other, working as one to ignite
a reaction across this great nation, again to set
our spacious skies shining by this sea of change.
-- by Gerald Greland
Line from a poem in the Best American Poetry 2008: From “Threshing” by Louise Glück: “This is the dream.”
You can hear Greland read his winning poem and David Lehman read R.S. Gwynn's "An Inaugural Prayer" on Boston's WBUR radio here: Download Hereandnow_1225 Or follow this link.