ROUND TWO: 11-burgeoning vs. 3-hybrid

r2f2 11-burgeoning vs. 3-hybrid

Click here for authlete instructions.

Voter Instructions:

  • The countdown at the bottom of each pairing indicates how much time is left to vote.
    • When voting closes, timer will disappear.
  • Read both poems as many times as you like.
  • Mark the poem you like best by clicking the circle next to its name.
  • Press the “Vote” button to record your vote.
  • Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
  • You can only vote once from a given IP address.
    • Classrooms should submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word.
  • Technical elements: meter, rhyme, form, shape, and other poetic standards.
  • Creativity: wordplay, imagery, unusual approach, etc.
  • Subtle elements that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Your overall response: emotional reaction such as admiration, tears, laughter, terror, or some indefinable feeling.

Here are the poems:

Springtime Has Come to Wabeno
by Deborah Holt Williams

Springtime has come to Wabeno,
In Wisconsin’s frozen North.
Maples are burgeoning,
Fishermen sturgeoning,
Down at the Church of the Blessed Virgeoning,
All sing with praises as May polkas forth.


Mystery Meat
by Victoria Warneck

I bought my lunch in school today,
and boy I’m sad I did —
a hybrid burger-fish fillet
more rubbery than squid.
So unidentifiable!
So sickening to eat!
I mustn’t be held liable
for yacking on my feet.


Public Vote (11-burgeoning vs. 3-hybrid)
Final Results:
11-burgeoning vs. 3-hybrid

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
11-burgeoning vs. 3-hybrid
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
11-burgeoning vs. 3-hybrid

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  • Quinette Cook

    These were both playful poems. Great job.

  • Mother Streusel

    Ha ha! I loved these!!! I felt transported to an episode of Prairie Home Companion with that first one. Someone alert Garrison Keillor!

    • Samuel Kent

      I thought exactly the same thing!

  • Bonnie Bailey

    Beautiful, Deborah! And sadly, probably quite easy for kid readers to relate to, Victoria :D

  • Sylvia Liu

    Both such fun poems!

  • deborahhwilliams

    Terrific poem, Victoria! I bet you get every student’s vote! Well done.

    • Ed DeCaria

      One of the perks of facilitating this event is that I get to read all of these poems a day earlier than the rest of you. Yours (Deborah’s) came in first and made me laugh — love the Blessed Virgeoning! — then Victoria’s came in overnight and when I read it this morning my reaction more than anything was sympathy … because I would not want to have to go up against that one in the classroom vote.

      Well done, both of you!

      • deborahhwilliams

        Ed, any chance all the participating schools are on Spring Break?

        • Ed DeCaria

          Yes, some are on Spring Break. But some teachers have found ways to get their kids to participate FROM Spring Break. (<—file under "thing, awesome")

    • Victoria Warneck

      Thanks, Deborah! The kid vote is split 2-1 along gender lines in my own house, with my daughter quite vehemently disliking mine, so we shall see…

      Love the burgeoning/sturgeoning/Virgeoning in your poem, and especially the last line. I might always now imagine May dancing the polka! Great job!

  • Linda Baie

    I love seeing that the ‘secret’ poems always have a connection, in this case, fish! Both poems delightfully amusing Deborah & Victoria.

  • Renee LaTulippe

    What a couple of fishy poems. Well done, poets!

  • BJ Lee

    Deb – the sturgeoning and the virgeoning are quite splendid! and Victoria – very kid-friendly!

  • R.Humpwellstempweiner

    Wonderful poem, Deborah.

    • deborahhwilliams

      Why, thank you! Are you one of the Ohio Humpwellstempweiners? ;-)

  • Elizabeth McBride

    Delightful wordplay, Deborah! Victoria, you delivered that only two days after the last fish-stick lunch at school! Great job, Ladies!

  • Buffy Silverman

    I thought Deborah was channeling Garrison Keillor too. And Victoria, I’m afraid lots of kids will relate to your mystery meat!

  • Julie Larios

    Wow, this was a hard choice. Two fine poems!! I predict it will be close.

  • julie krantz

    Toss-up, guys–loved both of these!

  • Damon Dean

    Deborah, the image of May ‘polka-ing’ into spring is delightful! Yes, this could appear on Prairie Home Companion (which I’m going to in St. Louis in June–woohoo!)
    That mystery meat is real, Victoria. Been there, ate that. Fun poem.

    (All of Arkansas is on spring break this week…never thought about the effect of that on the classroom votes. But I think there are no registered classrooms in Arkansas. Hmmm.)

    • deborahhwilliams

      Thanks, Dean! Colorado schools are on break, too. Have fun at the show in St. Louis!

  • deborahhwilliams

    CONGRATUATIONS, VICTORIA!! Good luck in the next round!

    • Victoria Warneck

      Thank you! Congratulations to you on winning the popular vote. I am going to need luck next time around, as WAIF is not yet speaking to me?!

      • Ed DeCaria

        Waifs tend not to be overly social, Victoria.

  • Mother Streusel

    Awesome matchup! Loved it! Congrats Victoria!