ROUND THREE: 16-bifurcate vs. 13-morass

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:

By Renée M. LaTulippe

Beneath the cotton checkered skies
the hilltop blazed with fiery cries:

“Friends, you know we must arise
if we’re to win the battle prize.
Open up your compound eyes.
We’re better than those gnats and flies.
Gather up your war supplies.
Bifurcate those tunnels, guys!
A sneak attack! Send in the spies!
Let’s fight as one. Let’s colonize!”

The soldiers seized the apple pies.
They marched off with the chicken thighs.
The hilltop rang with hungry cries.

The rest is history — ant-size.


Forbidden Adventure
By Angie Marie Breault

Out the back door through the dark of the night,
two furtive feet calmly creep.
Under the glow of the moon’s gentle light,
two lively legs start to leap.
Through the moist blades of the meadow of grass,
ten tickled toes start to wiggle.
Next to the stream in the muddy morass,
one merry mouth starts to giggle.
Underneath starlight which glistens on high,
two earnest eyes gaze in wonder.
Far, far below the vast stretch of the sky,
two eager ears hear it thunder.
Back through the meadow before it’s too late,
one chilly child is bounding.
Into the house where two parents await,
one petite person needs grounding.


16-bifurcate vs. 13-morass: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 16-bifurcate (Renée M. LaTulippe) (72%, 194 Votes)
  • 13-morass (Angie Marie Breault) (28%, 76 Votes)

Total Voters: 270

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“This is awesome, where can I find more?”:
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  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
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  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament

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  • Alvaro

    First vote!!

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    Great job, Angie! Love the “petite person” and your format. Here’s to a fun matchup! :)

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    Oops, deleted half my own comment. The rest of that was, you impress me with your lovely language here and in the lullaby in the last round. Kudos!

  • Linda Baie

    Both great little stories with surprise endings-Congratulations on doing so well with your words, Renee and Angie!

  • angie breault

    Thank you Renee, same to you! I love your theme. What an awesome idea. It’s creative with beautiful language and funny as well. I know it’s early, but I think you have this one in the bag. Great job! :)

  • Samuel Kent

    Great job, both of you. Renee, I was delighted to see the same end-rhyme on every line. That’s been uncommon in the competition.

  • Catherine Johnson

    These are both wonderful! Well done, ladies!

  • Carrie Finison

    Methinks this is going to be another close battle – and deservedly so.

  • juliekrantz

    Another great match-up, ladies!

  • Bill

    Renee, I absolutely LOVE the opening couplet. It’s definitely an attention grabber and pulls the reader in.

    Morass??? Could you have received a funnier word;) I’ve had many of those adventures, but my parents were lax.

    Great job, Ladies, and congrats on making it to the Sweet Sixteen!

    • Ed DeCaria

      I was kinda giddy to assign “morass”, I have to tell you. Unlucky 13-seed for Angie …

  • Joe Mohr

    Wow!!!! Those are both amazing! I love the image each evokes. I’d love to illustrate each of them.
    Well done to Renee and Angie!!!

    • Ed DeCaria

      Joe, your offer to illustrated has been noted. See stretch goals for the #MMPoetry 2013 book (via the Kickstarter project on the right sidebar).

  • angie breault

    Ohhhh, that’s what my problem is, unlucky number thirteen. :) It has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Renee’s poem is AWESOME, right. :)

  • Linda Boyden

    excellent work, the two of you. Two beautiful poems.

  • Michele Krueger

    Nice work, ladies. Renee, I’m antsy for you on this one! And Angie, cut the kid some slack- you’ve got a nature lover!

  • Quinette Cook

    Well done. Those were two weird words and it’s amazing what you did with them. Love the visuals that Renee’s “cotton checkered skies” evokes and I think there’s fairy dust in Angie’s “Forbidden Adventure.”

  • artistadonna

    Angie and Renee I love both your poems :)
    good luck to both of you :)

  • Dave Crawley

    There is not the tiniest weakness in either of these poems. Great job!

  • Janet F.

    Ok…so bifurcate those tunnels…..and meander in that muddy morass! Ants and kids…..freedom and picnics. Wonderful poems from both Renee and Angie. Well done!!! I had my doubts about bifurcate, but NOT Renee!!! Love that cotton checkered sky and those earnest stargazing eyes! A very tough match-up this!

  • Penny Klostermann

    Excellent poems, ladies! Sweet Sixteen is bringing it.

  • laurasalas

    These are terrific! Renee, I love your story and wonderful meter. Angie Marie–great ending!

  • Buffy Silverman

    Love your petite person, Angie. And Renee, your rhyme and story are stellar!

  • Damon Dean

    Angie, loved the growing confident excitement, line by line, in your character.
    Renee, what bold and confident conquerers your little brave ones. A difficult vote again.

  • matt forrest

    Another tough decision…there is definitely some top-notch poetry going on here!

  • Callie Miller

    This was a tough one to choose. Well done, both of you!

  • Alvaro

    just stopped by to read you poem again, Renee. You and Sam have the best poems this round!

  • Robyn Hood Black

    These are BOTH so magical! Mighty fine writing, both of you. I love the sneaky missions in both of these.

  • Greg Pincus

    Nicely done! And nicely done!

  • Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

    “Cotton checkered skies” – yes indeed! And I adore the rhythm and surprise in Angie’s poem. Great surprise endings to both here…

  • Damon Dean

    Back to vote…I had to read them both again.

  • Ed DeCaria

    Renée: Congratulations on making the “Elite Eight”!
    Angie: THANK YOU for contributing three terrific poems to this year’s event.

  • DianaM

    Go, Renee! I love the twist. Both of these poems are so awesome!

  • Quinette Cook

    Congrats to both of you and good luck Renee!

  • angie breault

    Congratulations on a well deserved victory Renee! I’ll be cheering for you. :)

    Ed, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this awesome competition! It has been amazing!

    Good luck everyone!

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    Thank you, Angie! I loved all three of your beautiful poems, though that lullaby is sticking with me. :)

  • Mary Lee

    Congratulations, Renee! Hope you can hear the cheers all the way across the pond!

    Angie, can’t wait to hear more from you! Start a blog! Join the Poetry Friday crowd!!