ROUND FOUR: 13-invigorating vs. 3-cadence

r4 13-invigorating vs. 3-cadence

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:

13-invigorating
Bring on the Bacon
by Samuel Kent

I was built for eating bacon:
that tremendous, tasty treat.
I’ve a greedy need for feeding
on that salty, scrumptious meat.

Its ambrosial, fine aroma!
Its invigorating crunch!
How it frizzles, pops, and sizzles!
How I dream all day to munch!

I’d inhale a hundred slices
then I’d nibble ninety more.
I presume I could consume it
till my guts are gorged and sore.

I could savor all its flavor,
or just gobble it right up.
How unfair, you never share it
with this poor, pathetic pup.

vs.

3-cadence
Counter Intelligence
by Victoria Warneck

Through the sweet-scented night, Missy crept without light,
quite deftly evading surveillance.
Her guards unaware, she escaped down the stairs,
then rapidly quickened her cadence.
With purpose and guile she slinked across tile,
and dared to relocate a chair.
She labored to budge it and inch-by-inch nudge it
adjacent to succulent fare!
Then, using that stool, Missy broke every rule
and flagrantly scampered up high,
where the triumphant robber proceeded to slobber
all over Mom’s blackberry pie.
You don’t have to guess at the scope of the mess
that awaited us all the next morning,
when we found with a fright that our poodle (once white)
had turned purple without any warning!

 


Public Vote (13-invigorating vs. 3-cadence)
Final Results:
13-invigorating vs. 3-cadence

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
13-invigorating vs. 3-cadence
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
13-invigorating vs. 3-cadence




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  • Samuel Kent

    What are the chances we’d both write about dogs and forbidden foods?!

    • Victoria Warneck

      HA! My thought exactly! Puppy punchlines must have been in the air late last night. Brilliant job, Samuel.

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

    Readers: Enjoy these. You truly cannot go wrong with your vote. But I would love to understand WHY people vote the way they do on this one … comment below!

  • Bonnie Bailey

    It’s fun to read them back over once you discover who the narrator/subject is :) Nice work both of you.

  • Quinette Cook

    Funny that you both wrote poems about thieving pups!

  • http://motherstreusel.com/ Mother Streusel

    These are so good. And both of them surprise you with the knowledge that dogs are involved at the end. Who did I vote for? Hmmm…was it the lip-smacking rhythmic ode to delicious bacon, or the Bond-esqe pie pilfering poodle? Good question…

  • http://motherstreusel.com/ Mother Streusel

    Ha ha, I’m reading about where you guys are from and imagining a conversation between someone from Alabama and someone from Massachusetts. Do you both have the accents of your state?

    • Victoria Warneck

      Karyn, I don’t have too much of a Boston accent (e.g., I’ll be going to Fenway Park this weekend, not Fenway Pahk). I do use “wicked” as an intensifier though — as in this matchup is going to be WICKED close!

      • http://motherstreusel.com/ Mother Streusel

        That’s awesome!

      • Elizabeth McBride

        You both have raised the bahr for us all!

    • Samuel Kent

      I grew up in Arkansas and Texas. I moved to Alabama as a teen, to New Jersey as a young adult, and back to Alabama in my mid-30s. My accent is, accordingly, all over the map.

      • Damon Dean

        (Samuel…the bar-be-cue shack I mentioned above was in El Dorado, Arkansas.)

  • Kristen Foote

    Well, this one is just impossible to vote!! Both SO good… so entertaining… *sigh* It seems unfair to pick just one :)

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

    I am going to make myself vote on this … eventually.

  • Rebekah Hoeft

    Can not decide…both so good. When all other things are equal, choose bacon? Love the lines “I’ve a greedy need for feeding/on that salty, scrumptious treat.” But I think Victoria’s line “She labored to budge it and inch-by-inch nudge it/adjacent to succulent fare!” may win me over. I do know I am having BLTs tonight!

    • Victoria Warneck

      “When all other things are equal, choose bacon” — words to live by!!! And thank you, I love to hear which lines work well.

  • Renee LaTulippe

    OK, Ed, I’ll bite. Both are well constructed with the perfect meter I expect from these two poets, but the poodle got my immediate vote because Victoria challenged herself to play with form and internal rhyme rather than stick with ABCB quatrains. She also constructed a whole character and story, which I tend to choose over a straight joke (as good as the joke may be), and I am impressed with the vocabulary she used beyond her word CADENCE. Teachers could have a field day with this one! I, too, would be interested to hear why others vote the way they do. :)

    • Rebekah Hoeft

      Renee…I agree. Both perfectly rhymed and meter spot-on, though the teacher in me loves what could be taught using Victoria’s. If my household is any indication, kids are going to vote for Samuel’s, but teacher’s are going to love Victoria’s.

      • Damon Dean

        I think you’re right, Bekah…but we’ll see.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

      Thanks, Renee!

    • Samuel Kent

      I’m just going to go on record here and say that Renee also hates bacon.

      • Renee LaTulippe

        HAHAHA! While it’s true that I’ve eaten bacon maybe twice since I moved to Italy a decade ago, I do still love the memory of bacon and completely relate to your puppy’s desperate need for crispy pork fat. Ed asked, I replied. But I secretly still think you are a meter king even without the pork products. (And a good sport, too.)

        • Samuel Kent

          And Victoria wrote a great poem! I knew that she would. She definitely has me beat for the story, whereas I went more for painting a sensory picture. What both poems have going for them is that they use internal rhyme, alliteration, assonance, and advanced vocabulary.

          • Renee LaTulippe

            Yup, you both brought the goods, as I knew you would. And of course I had no doubt yours would be a crowd pleaser, as we can see from the vote so far. It’s a tough round and you both deserve to move on!

            One of my poet friends suggested it might be fun for Ed to institute a “Wild Card” in which we vote to bring back someone who was voted off the island. I like this idea! Ed?

            • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

              Ooh — you mean like poets who didn’t really apply but still were able to sneak in a poem in Round 1 due to some unusual circumstances and whose poem was so popular that it got voted up in the comments but they still weren’t really allowed to advance to the next round? Can we invite THEM back and make it The Final Five?

              Okay, done teasing you. I’ve got all sorts of ideas for 1) other poetry events, and 2) ways to spice up #MMPoetry if/when it becomes stale in its current form. I’m trying not to get all reality TV too early on, though.

            • Renee LaTulippe

              Har har. You might be interested to know that here in Italy there is currently a reality show called MASTERPIECE in which novelists battle to win a contract with a major publishing house. Isn’t that fascinating? Do you think that could ever happen in the US? Five thousand writers applied; the judges are accomplished novelists and major editors. The writers have to perform various writing tasks and then have their work critiqued on the spot. They get through or they don’t. Amazing!

            • Samuel Kent

              I’d love to take the contept of the March Madness poems over to http://i.droo.it and do a May Madness doodle fest to see who/how the poems could be illustrated. Find 64 illustrators, put them in a bracket and let them compete for the next round’s illustration rights.

            • Renee LaTulippe

              That’s a great idea, Samuel!!

            • http://www.glosonblog.com Gloson

              Hahaha, someone needs to do that, Samuel! :D

            • Quinette Cook

              Cool.

      • Victoria Warneck

        I do not know anything about her dietary preferences, but I do think it’s worth noting that virtually *everything* I know about poetry I have learned from Renee while beta testing her quite excellent new online class. A few months ago I would not have recognized internal rhyme, assonance, or rhyme scheme if they rang the doorbell and tried to introduce themselves. I am beyond thrilled to have earned Renee’s stamp of approval — I’ve been knocking myself out and losing whole nights of sleep hoping to do so! — but she may well like my style for a reason. ;-)

        Samuel, I think your poem is more vivid and direct than mine — punchier throughout with a more accessible punchline. I think I might get fried to a crisp in the classroom vote!

        I know that it has been said many times already, but I am still stunned by how similar these are. Creativity is a fascinating and mysterious thing.

        • Renee LaTulippe

          Methinks the lady doth exaggerate too much!

          • Victoria Warneck

            Maybe a smidgen. But to the extent that there is a difference between my 2014 MM poems and those from 2013, Renee’s Lyrical Language Lab course gets the credit. :-)

  • Damon Dean

    Samuel…my mouth watered, and I went back to the moment when (only here in the South) I discovered at a local bar-be-cue shack the ultimate: Deep-Fried-Bacon. I panted and drooled while the waiter fetched a mop.
    Victoria…the suspense and mystery mounted in that dark kitchen, and then–dark (purple) deeds exposed by the light! Loved this so much!
    Wow, what a choice…

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

    Funny story, by the way …

    Before I assign words, the very last thing that I do is search TKT to see if the word that I am about to assign has ever been used in an #MMPoetry poem before. (This happens more often than you think.) If so, I replace it with a new word prompt.

    The word that I originally selected for Victoria before “cadence” was “guile” — which she ended up using anyways!

    But what’s more interesting is that the poem that previously used the word guile was written by none other than Samuel Kent: http://www.thinkkidthink.com/8-bereft-vs-9-burgle/. And what’s even more interesting is that that poem also involved an animal sneaking a snack!

    • Samuel Kent

      My very first TKT entry!

    • Samuel Kent

      You just secretly let us in on a part of your system. If we never want to see a word assignment, make sure to include it voluntarily in a poem, or convince someone else to do it. Paging Dave Crowley…

      • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

        I had to cross off FOUR words from my potential prompt list because of Dave’s sesquipedalian poem alone!

      • Quinette Cook

        Yah, where is that rascal anyway? Wait, good he sat this competition out. ;)

    • Victoria Warneck

      Wow, Ed! I find that incredibly unnerving!

    • Ldegman

      Really freaky – like this match-up was meant to be! So happy I could help by losing to Sam in the last round :-)

      • Victoria Warneck

        That was a great matchup! Watching from the sidelines, I was sure that either way I’d be toast! ;-)

  • Damon Dean

    And I must confess…I am dreaming (of course) that these two great poets “might” have been inspired by my Round 2 pug and greyhound conspirators.

  • Ldegman

    So weird you both wrote about dogs and food!! Freaky! Both were great – this will be hard!!

  • Elizabeth McBride

    What fantastic poems, both of you! These are expertly written and have such wonderful surprises at the end! I love looking at where you came ‘from’ with your word assignments, and imagining the process that brought you to these wonderful incidents you so poetically reveal! My compliments to both of you on truly fine work!

  • http://www.glosonblog.com Gloson

    OK, Ed. I’ll be the 2nd person to bite.
    Okay, both poems are great. It was really hard to decide, since Victoria’s poem’s has a mischievous story dressed in internal rhyme, and clothed in vocabulary–might I say, a better story than Samuel’s.

    Tho, my vote goes to Samuel (Victoria, please don’t kill me. =P) because of his poem’s delicious and aromatic language that is very vivid. Also, it flows really well. It must be just me, but I somehow think it reads and scans better. :)

    Hope my comment was helpful.

    • Renee LaTulippe

      Touche’, Gloson! Guess we’re the only brave ones, ready to open ourselves up to the wrath of poets! ;)

      • http://www.glosonblog.com Gloson

        Haha, yes Renee.
        The poets’ wrath, unsheathed, unveiled,
        for I wrote scrutinies detailed.

        Commenting, deeply I inhaled,
        and hopefully I won’t be jailed.

        • Samuel Kent

          How come you hate pie, Gloson?

          • http://www.glosonblog.com Gloson

            Haha Samuel, I don’t hate pie. =P In fact, neither pie NOR bacon is very common in Malaysia and we don’t get to eat them often. :(

      • Samuel Kent

        No wrath, Renee. Just false accusations of your porcine preferences.

    • Victoria Warneck

      Incredibly helpful, Gloson! Thank you for answering Ed’s question. I am still hoping that others will chime in, too — I love knowing everyone’s deciding criteria, and I’m always game for a critique. :-)

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

    I’ll add my own review after the contest is over.

  • rjschechter

    Both are excellent poems, but my vote went to Victoria, since I thought her anapestic meter kept things romping along with a nice romping cadence that especially suited her poem since her word was “cadence” after all. Sam’s trochaic meter did the trick, but strikes me as less musical — I think that someone who doesn’t speak English would probably enjoy Victoria’s poem more than Sam’s just from the sound of it. My only real quibble with Victoria’s poem was her use of a slant rhyme for her chosen word, since “surveillance” doesn’t rhyme with “cadence,” though as slant rhymes go this one does strike me as pretty good (assonance on two syllables instead of one). It’s easy to see why both these poets have made it this far into the competition, and I’m real curious to see how vote ends up.

    • Samuel Kent

      It’s surprising in this particular competition just how little choice I feel I have in choosing meter I’ll use as I write. It often feels dictated by the natural emphasis of the assigned words.

      • rjschechter

        But “invigorating” isn’t naturally trochaic, With its neatly alternating stresses, it could just as easily fit an iambic line as a trochaic one, though I can see it hampering you from going anapestic. But sure, most of the time we don’t “choose” a meter but the poem emerges in a given meter, and all we can do is recognize what’s happening and do our best to manage it.

      • Victoria Warneck

        The long multisyllabic words definitely constrain meter, don’t they? I’ve not yet had to contend with any of those.

        • Samuel Kent

          It gets even more challenging when they have things like diminished inflections. Trochees is it!

    • Victoria Warneck

      Funny…I decided at 9:30 on Sunday night that my attempt at an inspirational, follow-your-own-drummer poem was going NOWHERE. I shredded everything and started over. I started looking for words that sounded good alongside cadence (which appears to have no perfect rhymes). I made lists of things that rhymed with jade, things that rhymed with fence, then started wondering a – ence, a – ence…surveillance. From there, came “escaping surveillance” and “quickening her cadence”, and I had a spy angle. The rest of the poem happened from there. So I wish I didn’t have the slant rhyme, without it I might not have had any poem at all (gulp!).

      In any event, thank you for the kind words, Robert!

      • rjschechter

        I don’t doubt the cadence slant rhyme gave rise to the poem, Victoria, but sometimes your starting point is like rock soup. You start with the rock, then throw in all the other ingredients, then throw out the rock before serving. (Maybe the modern equivalent is the bay leaf).

        • Victoria Warneck

          Yes! Rock soup! Too bad that my mandatory word was encased in that rock when 8AM central rolled around! :-)

  • Greg Pincus

    I’ll sort of bite and keep with sports metaphors, too :-) When I’m stuck with two well done poems like these, I go to my own tiebreakers. Like… rhyme: Victoria using unaware/stairs for example, made me pause because it’s the only non-perfect rhyme in either poem. Writing to the rhyme: How I dream all day to munch – to me, that sentence was oddly constructed to get to the rhyming word. The use of “the word” – both well done here, but I’m not sure “cadence” really, really is a perfect substitute for “pace” or “speed.” It’s a rhythm, though, so I got the meaning. In overtime, I really examine the “twist” – and here I thought Samuel’s was slightly more surprising BUT I didn’t think “pathetic” described the pup well so that bumped for me. Yes, it is looking pathetic in hopes of getting bacon, perhaps, or because it missed bacon… but the first image of pathetic pup-ness was different in my head. Then I look at word choice, breadth of vocabulary, how they sound out loud, and then I eat bacon and pie and think again. Either one can win here and not surprise me, but I ended up voting for…. (okay. not telling. Maybe after the voting!)

    • Samuel Kent

      It’s funny you mention that line, Greg. it’s the one I struggled with most. I ended up choosing that version over other options because of the repeated “D” sound. With another 24 hours, I bet I could do a lot better.

      • Greg Pincus

        I bet you could do better with 24 more hours. Or days :-) As I said, I really had to dig deep, particularly since i know what it’s like crafting these in no time at all. Nothing in the poem that made me quickly vote for the other, that’s for sure (or vice versa!).

    • Victoria Warneck

      Love the color commentary, Greg! Thank you!

      Unaware/stairs hurts, doesn’t it? I originally had “unawares” in that spot — in a way that I realized, too late, made no sense. Did surveillance/her cadence not trip you??

      Hikers and runners often use cadence when discussing gait. But to be fair, iI think it has a connotation of beats/steps per minute, i.e., over longer distance than generally exists between the staircase and the kitchen! ;-)

      I’ve been wondering if my pup punchline would be more surprising if not read immediately after Samuel’s? But I think that is the risk you take with a dog poem.

      Thanks again! Enjoying & appreciating the discussion–

      • Greg Pincus

        I am sure your punchline would be more surprising not after another similar one! Still, it was clear in your poem that there was misdirection going on (by the character, not the poet) whereas that wasn’t clear in Samuel’s. So I knew there’d be a payoff like yours in yours, if that makes sense. And yes, surveillance/cadence was a tiny bump for me, though less so since it turns out I pronounce. I’m glad you got rid of unawares, though! And heck, cadence is a poetic turn of phrase – as I said, in this matchup, I was reaching for the little stuff (like Mr. Kent using a “just” for a bonus syllable :-)).

        • Samuel Kent

          That bugged me too, but “or ingurgitate it up” didn’t feel right as “or just gobble it right up”.

          You know what would be fun to do after the competition? To take first drafts and share them as is, then show the thought processes that went into how they became more polished versions presented for the competition, and then share more “final” versions that the authors are happier with after the rounds are done. It could be a good lesson on writing better poetry and stress the need for a “rest” phase in quality writing.

      • Samuel Kent

        I wondered the same thing.

  • Joe Mohr

    2 great ones! I am curious who will end up in the Final Four from this match-up! Well done, both!!!

  • Victoria Warneck

    Congratulations, Samuel! I was indeed fried to a crisp in the classroom vote. Bacon rules!

    I have so enjoyed meeting you in this event. Good luck in the Final Four — I will be rooting for you.

  • http://motherstreusel.com/ Mother Streusel

    Wow, I was out and about today so I didn’t see the 68 (now 69) comments on this post until just now!!! Congrats Samuel! Victoria, you did awesome. This one was tough. I think we focus so much on progressing or not to the next level and don’t pay attention to the fact that most of the “losing” poems are often better than those people are buying in poetry books and children’s books today. Both poems were really exceptional!!

    • Buffy Silverman

      I enjoyed both of these poems–there are minor problems we could point out in both poems, and there are many things that the poets did well. But I wanted to disagree with this point. While there are some exceptional poems written during the competition, I don’t think that they are in general “better than those people are buying in poetry books and children’s books today.” I think all of the poems written for the competition could be improved with time and revision (including my own, of course–I have revised my poems from last year’s competition and will probably revise the ones I wrote this year.) And having an editor’s expertise and suggestions would be invaluable.

      • http://motherstreusel.com/ Mother Streusel

        My comment was definitely not meant to offend, but to praise the talent I’ve seen here. I can see how, since I made such a general ‘blanket’ statement, it might. There are tons of awesome books of poetry! BUT, and here is the inspiration for my comment, I bought a large volume of kids poetry yesterday to read with my daughter, and most of the poems in it lacked the energy, wit and craftsmanship that I have seen in this competition. And many of the poets are famous.

      • http://www.thinkkidthink.com/ Ed DeCaria

        I agree, Buffy.

        There are some phenomenal kids’ poetry books being printed today — just not enough of them! Look at the Cybils award nominees (especially the finalists) or at the full set that Sylvia Vardell lists on her site to find some great ones.

        Some of the poems in this competition are excellent, and amazingly “book-worthy” by their 36-hour deadline. But most could definitely benefit from further refinement to perfect meter/rhyme, iron out syntactic blips, tighten language, beef up imagery, and just generally make them more poetic.

        That doesn’t take anything away from what our #MMPoetry authletes DO accomplish, but as the event founder even I will argue that the work created here will never represent the pinnacle of kids’ poetry — no contest ever could, certainly not one involving prompts and clocks. However, I do believe that #MMPoetry can become a bridge for kids and adults to cross from “wherever they are now” into the world of poetry, and that’s somethin’.

        • Buffy Silverman

          It’s certainly somethin’ and somethin’ worthwhile, Ed! I heartily agree that MMPoetry is a wonderful way to involve kids and adults in poetry–and I especially appreciated that classrooms had a larger role in this year’s competition. As someone who is working to improve my ability as a poet (as I’m sure all the authletes are) I think it’s important to realize the work involved in crafting top-notch poems (and I’m certainly not offended by your comment Karyn–I just disagree with it.)

  • Quinette Cook

    Okay, Ed I will take the bacon, er bait. Both of these poems had all the things going for them that have already been commented on. (See previous comments.) For me two things weighed into my decision. The first was the actual line length of each poem. Samuel’s was short and sweet. I could move through the poem quickly without missing anything–this isn’t a criteria that I apply for all poems, but it did weigh in on this one given the younger audience. The second reason is that Samuel has consistently wrote great poems and his good-will banter and support of other poets has made him a favorite of mine in this competition. His personality comes through throughout.

  • Anna Jordan (Boll)

    Ah… bacon wins again. I went with the bacon too. I really appreciated the alliteration, in combination with the assonance (greedy, need, feeding), onomatopoeia (frizzles, pops, and sizzles), interior rhyme (presume, consume). I just thought there was a lot that went into the construction of the poem without bogging it down. It comes across as fun, fluid, and fast paced. The alliterative payoff/twist in the last line was masterful.