The Poets’ Challenge: Each poet is assigned a single word based on their bracket seed, ranging from 1 (intuitive) to 16 (seemingly impossible). Poets must write a kid-appropriate poem using the prompted word in under 36 hours. Once both final poems have been received, they will be pasted into the body of this post, and then the reader poll will be open for voting.
Voter Instructions: Read each poem as many times as you’d like. Then use the poll to express your preference. Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered. As a guideline for voting, consider the criteria on which the contestants on the cooking show “Chopped” are evaluated: presentation, taste, and creativity. Translated roughly into poetry terms, presentation might include technical aspects such as meter, rhyme, form/shape, etc.; taste might be the net effect — did the poem move you to laugh, cry, think, kill, etc.; and creativity might include the poet’s approach toward a certain subject, image evocation, clever wordplay, etc.
“This is awesome, where can I find more?”: All results and scheduled matchups, including a glance at the round-by-round writing windows and voting windows, are visible from the Live Scoreboard page. In addition, results will be tweeted from @edecaria as they become final.
Here are the poems:
blurbs, Blurbs, BLURBS!
by Peter Patrick Langella
My mom took me to the library
to find a book to read.
I looked and looked and tried and tried,
but it was impossible to succeed.
You see, I can’t get past the blurbs
that litter all the jackets.
They jump around and creep me out
like filthy little maggots.
Things like “Poignant,” “Spellbinding”
“Riveting,” and “Powerful.”
“It’ll titillate” and “Tour de Force” –
what unnecessary mouthfuls!
I want to get a book.
I’d pick one if I could.
Why can’t any jackets
just tell me that it’s “good?”
by Stephen W. Cahill
Girlzilla Gorilla loves eating vanilla
And chocolate banana ice cream.
But when there’s none left, she’s completely bereft
And she screams and she screams and she screams.
Exhausted, her father, decided he’d rather
Concede to Girlzilla each day.
But since he did that, she expanded so fat
That the doctor had something to say,
“This may sound absurd, but I have me a bird
Who knows how to fix your girl ape.”
He opened a door and right there on the floor
Was a goose in a bright yellow cape!
It warbled a song, that was terribly long,
Called “Icecream Will Make You Obese.”
Girlzilla just frowned. She bent down to the ground
And gobbled that goose – now deceased.
16-titillate vs. 14-warbled: Which Poem Did You Prefer?
- 16-titillate (Peter Patrick Langella) (46%, 158 Votes)
- 14-warbled (Stephen W. Cahill) (54%, 188 Votes)
Total Voters: 346
GET OUT THE VOTE. The average pairing in Round 1 generated 154 votes. The average pairing in Round 2 generated 178 votes. The average pairing in Round 3 generated 224 votes. A nice trend! Use the share buttons below and mention the madness wherever you go so that these poems reach more kids! And remember, encourage voting on EVERY MATCHUP, not just this one!