THE APPLIED POETRY Department at Duck Hollow University will soon be placing the world’s first wiki-epic on line. Entitled The Williamrufusdevanekingiad, the epic will recount the life and exploits of the great William Rufus DeVane King in heroic verse. Anyone who opens an account at the wiki site will be able to contribute any number of lines to the epic, provided that the meter and rhyme scheme are respected. It is hoped that, through the wisdom of the crowd, this twenty-first-century method of poetic composition will be able to produce a more dramatic and more moving epic than could be produced by a single poet working in isolation.
In order to kick-start the project, as it were (to borrow a suitably poetic metaphor from the world of internal combustion engines), the Department has decided to begin with a contest for the first line of the poem. The winner will have the satisfaction of seeing his or her first line at the head of a dramatic and moving epic poem, at least until an authorized user with editing privileges changes it. Remember that the line must be cast in iambic pentameter, and must not end with the word orange or oblige, as those selections would impose unfair limitations on the authors of the succeeding line. Entries may be left as comments on this article, or may be hand-delivered to the University security desk.