ROUND TWO: 16-repudiate vs. 8-eavesdropping

r2f2 16-repudiate vs. 8-eavesdropping

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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.
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    • 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:

Guilt Trip for a Dilettante
by Julie Krantz

my mother always cautioned… “do your duties with aplomb—
comb your hair and brush your teeth, take a bath (at least once a week),
clean your room and travel light, wear an outlook clear and bright.”

“to repudiate your duti(ates),” she’d piously intone, was absolutely daft—
“your teeth will rot, your room will stink, your very skin will loose and shrink.
your hair (what’s left of it) will thin, your prospects will grow grey and dim.”

“but that’s not all, my Angel Cakes—your mother’s goodly heart will break.”


Swallows Return to the Barn at Eve
by Jane Yolen

Swarming homeward to the eaves
Like a bunch of fork-tailed leaves.

Hearing all the buzzing gossip
In the barnyard as we cross it.

Flying fast, we swallow hard,
All the insects in the yard.

Always listening, never stopping,
That’s what we call barn eavesdropping.


Public Vote (16-repudiate vs. 8-eavesdropping)
Final Results:
16-repudiate vs. 8-eavesdropping

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
16-repudiate vs. 8-eavesdropping
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
16-repudiate vs. 8-eavesdropping

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  • Quinette Cook

    no swallows here, only snowflakes, but others might repudiate that

  • Bonnie Bailey

    I can’t vote on these! :)

  • Samuel Kent

    Julie: Very clever with “duty(ates)”. Jane: I like how you tie the buzzing gossip concept in with eavesdropping. Curious, though, considering where the swallows roost (and what birds do at roost), did you also make a very subtle poop joke?

    • Mother Streusel

      I didn’t understand the duty(ates)…can someone explain it to me?

      • Samuel Kent

        Best I can tell, it was just wordplay, but well placed; it added some internal ryhme to the line.

        • Mother Streusel

          Thanks! Makes perfect sense now. I thought maybe it was a word I didn’t know.

    • Jane Yolen

      I am not sure that poop jokes can ever be TOO subtle, much less VERY subtle.

  • Mother Streusel

    Two fun poems. Well-done!

  • Elizabeth McBride

    Wonderful writing, Ladies!

  • Buffy Silverman

    Ahh–the guilt-tripping mom. I know her well. And I love that swallow POV and their own brand of eavesdropping.

  • Damon Dean

    Yes, Jane, I loved the swallow POV as well, and how the swarming, buzzing insects seem to fill the air as the swallows swarm.
    Julie, loved the mothering reputation you portrayed so well, especially with the parenthetical stuffings inserted into her counsel.
    Great work, hard vote.

  • julie krantz

    Thanks for your comments, everyone!

  • Mother Streusel

    Congratulations Jane!!! This was an awesome round. Two great poets!

  • Jane Yolen

    Thanks all. In the voting, I went by ambulance to the hospital for a two day stay following a gallstone attack (new for me) and a liver malfunction from an OD of (of all things) Tylenol. As a non-drinker, non-smoker, non-recreational drug taker, it was a huge slap in the face!!!