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.