On Tuesday, May 6, The American Scholar launched a website experiment in writing crowd-sourced poetry—in this case, a sonnet. David Lehman wrote the first line and selects subsequent lines from among those submitted by you. Here's the sonnet to date:
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
Line six, Anna E. Moss’s “Cast down this die and cross the Rubicon,” won me over with its repetition of the previous line’s “die” but in a completely different sense: not the verb of mortality but a noun, the singular of dice. The line makes a cunning allusion to Julius Caesar, who said “alea lacta est”—“the die is cast”—when he and his armies successfully crossed the Rubicon River south of Ravenna in 49 B.C.