ROUND THREE: 14-rigidity vs. 10-largesse

r3 14-rigidity vs. 10-largesse

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:

The Pointless Pointer
by Allan Wolf

A Pointer named Bart had a big change of heart
when he finally figured out why,
when he froze like a statue while looking right at you,
a gun would go off and you’d die.

So he practiced the habit, on spotting a rabbit,
of feigning confused indecision.
More dancer than statue, “I won’t let him catch you,”
the kindly dog whispered, “Keep hidden!”

While stalking through weeds, this blue-ribbon breed
was the picture of grace and fluidity.
But discovering prey, he would just look away
and display not a trace of rigidity!

When the hunter, struck dumb, finally said, “What’s become
of my loyal, award-winning birder?”
Bart said with conviction (and excellent diction),
“I won’t be your accomplice to murder!”


A Cell Phone. Why I Need One!
by Kristen Foote

“Hey mom and dad, we must discuss the fact that I’ve been cheated! I’m isolated on the bus. My social life – depleted!

I’m labeled “outcast” of my class – the last one to exist. The only kid without a phone. I neeeeed one – I insist!

I know you think I’m just a child, far too immature. So here’s my case that I’ve compiled, in case you’re still unsure:

I raked the yard, took out the trash, I cleaned up my whole room.
I swept up all the crumbs from lunch – I even used a broom.
I’ve got good grades – well, mostly A’s (except those silly D’s).
With NO complaints I ate your soup that looked like barfed-up peas.
And by the way, let it be known, not one, or even two …
but EVERY single friend of mine, has their own phone. It’s true!”

“Well, honey, dear, we feel your pain. Your story sure is sad! You really don’t have to explain – we know you want this bad.

In fact, because we’re generous, much thanks to our largesse, we’ll buy the newest, smartest phone with built-in GPS!

We’ll be right by you, every step, you’ll never feel alone. ‘Cause we can track your every move from your newfangled phone!

So let’s go look! We’ll hit the store, and see what we can find!”

“Umm …. I don’t need one anymore. I think I’ve changed my mind.”


Public Vote (14-rigidity vs. 10-largesse)
Final Results:
14-rigidity vs. 10-largesse

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
14-rigidity vs. 10-largesse
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
14-rigidity vs. 10-largesse

Like it? Share it!

Like me? Subscribe to TKT!

  • Mother Streusel

    BRILLIANCE!!! These are TOO clever for words. The craftsmanship is exceptional and the wit is stunning. LOVE THEM!!!!!

  • Quinette Cook

    Bart, I think the phone’s for you. Something about tracking a rabbit…

    • Kristen Foote

      Haha :)

  • Michele Krueger

    Amazing use of the words in play, I enjoyed both, kudos Allan and Kristin!

  • Darren Sardelli

    The meter and rhythm in both poems are so on!!! The endings are spectacular as well. Another tough decision.

  • Kristen Foote

    Allan – it’s great competing with someone who is obviously an expert at poetry – it clearly shows in your use of rigidity!! I really enjoyed your entry! :)

    • Allan Wolf

      Likewise Kristen. I’m glad to have made it to the Sweet 16 with you. Allan sent from his i-Phone!
      (Hey Ed, we need a MMP cell-phone app!)

      • Ed DeCaria

        I just HAPPEN to be a software product manager … that may happen sooner than you think!

  • Elizabeth McBride

    Oh you two!!!! These are wonderful! I have met that cell-phone child before!!! And didn’t we all want the bird-dogs to come up with their own way of handling ‘hunting’? These are both soooooo well done!

  • Buffy Silverman

    I’m getting ready to adopt a new dog, and think that I would like that pointless pointer, Allan! And Kristen, love the change of heart in your poem.

  • Catherine Johnson

    Aren’t dogs lovely and phones a pain. Both excellent poems.

  • Samuel Kent

    Allan, your inner rhymes belie your mastry of verse. Kristin, I am not looking forward to having this conversation with my sons.

    • Allan Wolf

      Thanks Samuel! I think it is internal rhyme that transforms poetry into flow-etry.

      • Gloson

        This wonderful flow-etry’s destined to grow-a-tree!

  • Debbie B. LaCroix

    Kristen, yours hit home! LOL.

    • Kristen Foote

      I figured parents and kids would be able to relate :) Kids with phones seems to be a trend!

      • Josh Close

        Shared the website with a group of 3rd graders earlier today – “Can we vote with phones and ipads?!?!” was one of the first questions.

        I may be part of a younger generation – but most of these kids personal phones are even better than mine, lol.

        • Kristen Foote

          Haha :) I didn’t have a cell phone until college – and even then it was a stretch! Kids these days….. :)

  • Ldegman

    Congrats, Kristen – good luck in the next round!

    • Kristen Foote

      Thank you Lori!! I remember seeing your poem last year right before I went to your presentation at the Lake Zurich library – I’m a big fan of yours and was so excited to be participating this year alongside authors like you!!! Your entries were all so entertaining!!

      • Ldegman

        Thanks, Kristen! You’re doing a fantastic job – I hope you go all the way!! If you do, I’ll be able to say, one of my workshop students won a poetry contest! Come on – make me look good :-)

  • Mother Streusel

    Wow!!! What a crazy match up! I think the close voting reflected the difficult choice represented here. I loved both of these. Congratulations Kristen! Great job!

  • Allan Wolf

    Jeeepers, Kristen, that was a squeaker! Good luck to you in the Elite Eight and metaphors be with you!

    • Kristen Foote

      Thanks for a great match Allan! When I read your poem I honestly didn’t think I had a chance – it was poetically perfect!! PS – what are the names of the poetry books you have published? I want to check them out!!

      • Allan Wolf

        Hey Kristen, My latest books are historical fiction novels in verse (i.e. The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic), but there’re a few others that are poetry collections and a few books on writing and using performance in the classroom. Your best option is to just search “Allan Wolf” (spelled correctly) at Amazon.

    • Patricia Emerson

      Gotta say, Allan, (and yes, it’s tough to separate the poet from the poem), I’ll always vote for a dog with a conscience (am reminded of what you say about Oolum in the forward to NEW FOUND LAND), over any discourse about a cell phone (no offense, Kristen. My eighth graders loved your poem, so who am I?) Great work, both of you.

      • Allan Wolf

        Thanks Trish. I think the world would be a much better place if we were all a little more like dogs and poets.

  • Damon Dean

    Kristen, great work! Loved your approach with this word, and the change of heart!
    Allen, your soft-mouthed AND soft-hearted hunting dog is adorable.

    • Kristen Foote

      Thanks Damon!!