ROUND TWO: 12-rhetoric vs. 13-congeal

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:

A Rhetorical Question?
By Donna Smith

A quizzical fowl
is the Northern Barred Owl,
But his question is always the same:
“Whoo-whoo are you? Whoo-whoo are you?”

Rhetoric at best,
That question’s a test;
His meal need not tell him it’s name –
“Whoo-whoo, adieu! Whoo-whoo, adieu!”


NOTE: The following poem is geared toward children 6 and under …

Shooting Stars
By Angie Marie Breault

Sleep child sleep, for your dreams lie in wait.
They are hidden away till the hour gets late.
Each morning they melt, and they rise to the place
where the moon finds its home and they float out in space.
But darkness returns to congeal every dream,
then they twinkle on high as they glisten and gleam.
And when, little child, you close your eyes tight,
your dreams fall from heaven to meet you each night.


12-rhetoric vs. 13-congeal: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 12-rhetoric (Donna Smith) (38%, 90 Votes)
  • 13-congeal (Angie Marie Breault) (62%, 149 Votes)

Total Voters: 239

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  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    I’m an owl-lover, I admit, but that sweet lullaby draws me in… Beautiful job, ladies!

  • angie breault

    Thank you Renee. :) Donna, your poem is a lot of fun and your rhythm is perfect. Nice job. :)

  • Patricia Nozell

    A reference to The Who v. a sweet lullaby – such a tough call! Well done, Ladies.

  • Quinette Cook

    Oh my, I’m beginning to feel bad. No matter who I vote for, the other is just as deserving. The owl poem reminded me of “The Secret of Nimh” (animated movie based on the book “Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of Nimh”) and the lullaby was such a treat to see in the competition.

  • Donna Smith

    Sweet lullaby, Angie! While I was listing animals that could having something rhetorical about them, brainstorming my word, a Barred Owl with its distinctive call hooted just outside in a tree by the house. It flew past us as we came out to find it…and then the poem happened.

  • KatApel

    You ladies are both very talented. Who’d have thought ‘congeal’ could find such a sweet and slumberous home. I’m delaying my vote because you’re both so deserving!

  • angie breault

    Thank you Kat. Donna, isn’t it funny the way things happen. I had another poem all set to go, but I wasn’t really happy with it, so I delayed sending it. Then last night, my three year old just wouldn’t go to sleep. He was a bit more crazy and wild than this poem would suggest, but out of my frustration this poem was born. Both instances just go to show that inspiration can hit at any time from any place. :)

  • Gloson Teh

    Great poems, ladies. The lullaby is soothing! The “Whoo-whoo” owl poem immediately reminded me of a one I wrote–Hoo Am I, parody of Les Miserables’ “Who Am I”. We used the same pun! :D Love the “Whoo-whoo are you?” and “Whoo-whoo, adieu!” rhyme!

  • Laura Shovan

    Nocturnal and lovely — both poems!

  • Michele Norman

    Angie…dreams falling from Heaven?!…your poem is a prayer, meant to be repeated again and again…

    Donna…I picture your owl with a beret and a mustache!

  • Carrie Finison

    Ha! I laughed when I saw ‘rhetoric’ because my alternate poem for my round 1 word also used ‘rhetoric.’ I love what Donna did with it! And Angie’s poem is just lovely. Tough choice!

  • Penny Klostermann

    Love Rhetorical question for the humor. Love Shooting Stars for the sentiment. Tough choice!

  • Robyn Hood Black

    What a great pairing! (And I loved the stories behind each one.) Very tough choice – hats off to Donna and Angie.

  • Gloson Teh

    Wait a minute… Angie used a 13-seed word in a poetry geared towards children less than 6 years old? :O

  • angie breault

    Sure, it’s a lullaby so it just needs to be boring enough to put a young child to sleep. ;)

  • Stephanie Farrow

    Not possible to choose!

  • Damon Dean

    Difficult choice. I am a sucker for sweet lullabies and this one is lovely.
    Donna I love your rhetorical owl.

  • Ed DeCaria

    Hey, everybody, look — it’s Stephanie Farrow! She was an 2012 #MMPoetry authlete, wrote several great poems including a haiku using her 7-seed word knuckles, and during last year’s event sent me an unsolicited draft of what turned into this year’s much more readable authlete and voter instructions that you now see displayed on these pages.

    Treat her nice!


  • Mary Lee

    Two night poems in the same round…POEMETRICS™/POEMAGIC™ again?

  • Damon Dean

    Yes Mary Lee…I think so. Poemetrics at work.
    And thanks Stephanie. Well written instructions were a bonus for a newbie like me.

  • Gloson Teh

    Hello Stephanie! Kudos for beating Kenn Nesbitt during last year’s tournament! :P

  • juliekrantz

    Very tough decision, ladies. Both poems were EXCELLENT!

  • Dave Crawley

    Very thoughtful entries, and a tough choice for voters.

  • Donna

    Congratulations, Angie! Enjoy your next round! It’s been a fun time. I’ll be checking in on your next poem.

  • angie breault

    Thank you Donna, I appreciate it. Good luck to you in your writing and poetry. You have a wonderful gift. Your spring poem was one of my very favorite poems in round one, and your owl poem is very clever and well written as well. I hope I will see much more of your writing in the future. :) God Bless :)

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    Congrats, Angie! I look forward to our match-up!

  • Michel Krueger

    nice, ladies! congrats, Angie! I love that your child was your muse on this poem!

  • angie breault

    Thank you Michel and Renee. I’m excited for this round as well, Renee! Awesome poetry on your part so far. :)