On Tuesday, May 6, The American Scholar launched a website experiment in writing crowd-sourced poetry—in this case, a rhyming sonnet. David Lehman supplied the first line and picked subsequent lines from reader submissions.
Last week, the sonnet had its fourteen lines. The New York Times joined in the fun. Today, David Lehman announced his choice for the title. Here is the poem in its entirety:
How like a prison is my cubicle,
And yet how far my mind can freely roam:
From gaol to Jerusalem, Hell to home.
Freedom ends or starts with a funeral.
Say what must die inside that I may not
Cast down this die and cross the Rubicon,
Thence to the true hell: the heat in Tucson,
Where drug lords blaze loads of coke, meth, and pot.
Freedom starts or ends with a funeral.
I once watched men with Uzis guard the Pope:
No hope, no hope, no hope, no hope, no hope.
What buzz can cheer this gloomy canticle?
Redemption is a swift revolving door:
A revolution ends the inner war.
Here's what David Lehman has to say about his choice for the title:
The title that fits our sonnet best, I think, is “Monday.” Laura Cronk proposed it (and it was seconded by the pseudonymous “Thoroughly Pizzled”). “Monday” works because the thoughts of our collective sonneteer are informed by the back-to-work (or back-to-school) blues folks may feel on Monday mornings. And “Monday” recurs; it happens each week, departs, and comes back, and is thus like our revolutionary swinging door.