David Lehman suggests an Updike writing exercise

“I have long felt that verse can serve as the right vehicle for a mini-essay prompted by a provocative thought in the form of an aphorism,” David Lehman begins his “Next Line, Please” brief for The American Scholar.

Using a quote from Updike, he challenges readers to take up the pen.

“In John Updike’s novel Couples, the narrator states, ‘Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant.’ Leaving aside the context—the very real possibility that the sentence is meant to apply primarily to the characters in the book—consider this thought as the trigger for either (1) a short essay in verse or (2) a dialogue in verse.

Lehman notes that permission is required for “reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.”

Here’s the link to Lehman’s  “Updike on Couples.” Lehman’s most recent book is Playlist, published in the Pitt Poetry Series this past April. Here’s the Amazon link.

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