In last week's Next Line, Please contest, judge David Lehman invited readers to write a two-line stanza, or "tanka" to build on Paul Breslin’s winning haiku from the previous week. Here's what Lehman has to say about the winning submission:
In the contest for the best two-line tail to Paul Breslin’s haiku, the laurels go to Barbara Shine:
The wheat bends before the wind,
rehearsing its surrender.
The highly visual first line shifts our focus from the sickle to the grain—from the manmade tool to the part of nature it means to glean. The second line delivers a double jolt: “rehearsing” introduces a theatrical metaphor, and “surrender” a military one, and somehow the combination of the two terms is more sensual than it is threatening. The lines are very musical. I would single out the brilliant double alliteration of “b” and “w” words in line one and the consonantal repetition of “nd” sounds: bends, wind, surrender.