After years of planning by the foremost poets, only votes in the House and Senate remained; then, at last, they could begin work on the national sonnet. Coney Island and former farmland in NH began preparing bids for verses, while the final couplet would be written on the Mississippi River.
Others protested the sonnet fiercely, insisting that the construction of a sonnet was best left in the hands of private contractors, or at least that each state should construct their own sonnet. Some suggested that the government could never complete the sonnet in a timely fashion, and that after repeatedly extended deadlines, a villanelle was far more likely, or even that the whole project would devolve into rambling blank verse.
Many politicians vowed to block the bill, on the basis that if a multi-year national poem project was begun, at the very least it should be in an American form. A bipartisan coalition against rhymes promised a filibuster; each member taking turns till they recited the entirety of Leaves of Grass.
A graduate of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, Ori Fienberg’s short prose has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals including Beecher’s Magazine, Essay Daily, Entropy Magazine, The Laurel Review, and the Mid-American Review. Ori creates educational resources to promote academic integrity at the College of Professional Studies of Northeastern University in Boston, and lives with his wife, and dog, in Evanston, IL. Find more of his work at orifienberg.com.