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:
One Figure Skater
by Melissa K.
I carve these numbers in the ice: a classic Figure “8”,
And then a “2” – I skate it twice – then “5”, then “3” – but wait!
A number “6” – the spin’s a chore (I injure myself slightly)
Then rally for a final “4”, and jeté, landing lightly.
That’s 822-5364. Please call! Don’t leave me lonely.
Write down my digits, call me up – quick! Here comes the Zamboni!
At 13, I Walk on Eggshells
by Susan Taylor Brown
More than the way your hands paint bruises the world can’t see
I fear your words, and the way they tattoo themselves in my brain
creating a chorus of put-downs that play in an endless loop,
reminding me of all I am not, in your eyes.
Your words are my only gift from you and I carry them close,
like the most precious of jewels. I can’t help myself.
In this house, nonconfrontational
is just another word for survival.
1-carve vs. 16-nonconfrontational: Which Poem Did You Prefer?
- 1-carve (Melissa K.) (36%, 76 Votes)
- 16-nonconfrontational (Susan Taylor Brown) (64%, 133 Votes)
Total Voters: 209
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