ROUND ONE: 1-bruise vs. 16-androgynous

[click image to view matchup in full screen in a new window.]

The Poets’ Challenge: Each poet is assigned a single word based on their bracket seed, ranging from 1 (intuitive) to 16 (seemingly impossible). Poets must write a kid-appropriate poem using the prompted word in under 36 hours. Once both final poems have been received, they will be pasted into the body of this post, and then the reader poll will be open for voting.

Voter Instructions: Read each poem as many times as you’d like. Then use the poll to express your preference. Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered. As a guideline for voting, consider the criteria on which the contestants on the cooking show “Chopped” are evaluated: presentation, taste, and creativity. Translated roughly into poetry terms, presentation might include technical aspects such as meter, rhyme, form/shape, etc.; taste might be the net effect — did the poem move you to laugh, cry, think, kill, etc.; and creativity might include the poet’s approach toward a certain subject, image evocation, clever wordplay, etc.

“This is awesome, where can I find more?”: All results and scheduled matchups, including a glance at the round-by-round writing windows and voting windows, are visible from the Live Scoreboard page. In addition, results will be tweeted from @edecaria as they become final.

Here are the poems:

peaches, pears… and egos, too
by Julie Krantz

soft things bruise—a fruit, a limb—
but most of all, the flesh within—
the veins, the pulp, the under-skin.
a gathering of blood and bile,
a yellowing of youthful fire.
sweet and sour, tender, blue—
the vast tattoo of losing you.


The Dragonologist
by Katya Czaja

Dr. Elvis Prosser needs a chapter for his thesis, 
Wants to know if dragons are a mister or a missus. 
Dr. Elvis Prosser, though a noted dragonologist, 
Comes up with a plan, that is utterly ri-di-cu-lous. 
Dr. Elvis Prosser sneaks into a dragon’s cavern 
Cautiously he strikes a match to light his miner’s lantern. 
Prosser learns, alas, that they are hazardous and ravenous 
Silly Prosser, don’t you know that dragons are androgynous. 


1-bruise vs. 16-androgynous: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 1-bruise (Julie Krantz) (59%, 82 Votes)
  • 16-androgynous (Katya Czaja) (41%, 59 Votes)

Total Voters: 140

Loading ... Loading ...


Did you like this matchup? Show these poets your support by sharing this post now (see buttons below).

Like it? Share it!

Like me? Subscribe to TKT!

  • Katya

    Gah! That is quite the hard word. You’re a fiend, Ed.

  • Janet

    Good luck, Katya!!! This should be interesting. I am not sure my little third grade friends have ever even heard this one, but that is why I love poetry. You may rope them in and brand them with a new word while they get to enjoy(?) I hope, your poem.

  • Katya

    This morning my fifth grader asked me what word I got and he didn’t know what it meant either… so I am going to have to make sure the poem makes the meaning of the word somewhat clear. :-)

  • Katya

    Good luck to you, too Janet.

    • Janet

      Well,I am not writing in the contest, just enjoying from afar or close which it actually feels like already. So I await the first poems and am trying to get teacher friends to use these in class in some way. I am a poetry promoter and a closet poet. However, yours should be quite interesting. I think I can turn this whole madness into a really teachable moment for my little ones. I call words “golden kernels” and we do a “word of the day” activity which really helps. We collect words all the time in my class. (Well when I had a class; I, sadly, retired in June after 41 years, but I volunteer at my school regularly. It’s around the corner, so I am lucky. We will be gearing up tomorrow to enjoy the poems!!! And hopefully we can vote!!

  • Carol

    Where are the Flight Two words?

  • Mary Lee

    I can’t see any poems here, but the time clock is ticking down on the voting. What am I missing?

    • Katya

      Not sure. I’m hoping it’s a technical glitch and Ed got my poem this morning.

  • Dana

    Hi Ed,
    Is there a quick way for teachers to know if poems have been posted without opening up each entry (Will it say ‘polls are now open’? on the main scoreboard page like this one does currently and the poems then will be there. Understand this one might currently have a glitch since the poems aren’t posted). Thank you again for doing all of this! It’s going to be great!

  • Katya

    For anyone who can’t get enough ‘androgynous’ poems, I actually ended up writing three and let my kids pick their favorite. You can see all three at my blog.

  • Joy Acey

    Katya, I agree. Some of these words are beyond pleasant. My word had four syllables too and two more letters! It took me until this morning to finally come up with the poem for dismemberment that I liked. If you come up with a poem you like better for androgynous, I’d love to read it.
    Just imagine more than 100 people have already read your poem.
    So much for being 16th seed! Rats!