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The millennium has hit the poetry world too. Several anthologies are in the works. has its Millennium Poem Project that asks famous poets to add their lines to a poem each week. This reminds us of the renga form. It evolved from the tanka (Japanese for "short poem") The renga is an image-filled form, made up of alternating 3 and 2 line stanzas. These stanzas are written by a group of poets who take turns in adding to the poem. The usual length was 100 lines, but some ran to 1000 lines. Basho preferred 36 line stanzas. The haiku and senryu forms come from renga. The poems do not read like a story. A stanza will link to the one before it, but not necessarily to the others before that. Wallace Stevens was no renga poet (check out more of his poems here) but I can imagine him daydreaming on his lunch break from his Connecticut office about being in China. So follow him from those lines and send us your stanzas of 3 lines, then 2. Do not follow his "story" but you may select a word or image from his poem as a starting place. You need not use any particular line length. We will assemble your lines into a single renga for the archive.

For more on this prompt and others, visit the Poets Online blog.

Each set of two stanzas was composed and submitted by the author listed at the right following those lines.

An old man sits
In the shadow of a pine tree
In China .
He sees larkspur,
Blue and white,
At the edge of the shadow,
Move in the wind.
His beard moves in the wind.
The pine tree moves in the
Thus water flows
over reeds.                                                                                                    Wallace Stevens

at the edge of the shadow
the water slowly lapped the shores
of the new year's beginning

it hid, only to return like a lover
but familiar as a friend                                                                                      Brandi Semler

All things are made up of matter,except shadows,
and what was that other thing? Ah yes-light,
it is light. Inside, out;              who's turning us?

The Tao, the way, shadows from light and matter
combined.                            E=mc3  -  inferred.                                                Jane Conforti

In the Church of the Moment
as your fingers press a crevice
to find a hold, your body, a T

on the rock's face, a hawk's shadow
cools your face.                                                                                                Charles Michaels

crimped links of a chain fence--
a string of empty diamonds and vacant sky--
the blue towel of summer flutters in the breeze

enmeshed in the swamp of work, each thought is scraped
upon the hard ground like the sole of a befouled shoe.                                          Steve Smith

Stepping from the garden, the larkspur, delphinium chinense,
brushes my bare leg, the feathery leaves desire attention,
unlike the bold blue spike of bloom above it.

My skin vibrates with that desire, but I am drawn to the flower
and the desire is difficult to transplant.                                                                 Pamela Milne