ROUND ONE: 2-bode vs. 15-indoctrinate


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’d 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.
  • In the Public Vote, anyone may vote, but only one vote is allowed per IP address.
  • In the Classroom Vote, you must be registered and logged in to vote.
    • Official voting classrooms should read and discuss each poem and then submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.
  • In the Authlete Vote, you must be a 2015 authlete and logged in to vote.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
  • Whether or not the poem adheres to the poem requirements for the contest.
  • Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
  • Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
  • Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
  • Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.

Apply your own criteria as well! For more on the above concepts, check out POEMETRICS™.

Here are the poems:


2-bode what does it mean?
by Damon Dean

Do wind chills, ice and snow bode ill for you?
Birds dare not sing, trills frozen in the air?
Do buttercups, cold, cower in your dirt,
afraid to rise because of deep despair?

My green cape flares! Bulbs, buds, and blooms appear.
I whisper! Bird songs thaw, their music spoken.
I breathe! My exhale melts your fears away.
I have arrived–and evil Winter? Broken!



15-indoctrinate what does it mean?
Someday, Maybe
By Cynthia Cotten

This big old world could be so great
if, rather than indoctrinate,
we managed to accommodate
(or–better yet–appreciate) the differences we see.

To do so might alleviate
bad feelings that accumulate
and gradually turn to hate.
It’s worth a try–at any rate, that’s how it seems to me.


Public Vote (2-bode vs. 15-indoctrinate)
Final Results:
2-bode vs. 15-indoctrinate

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
2-bode vs. 15-indoctrinate
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
2-bode vs. 15-indoctrinate

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  • deborahhwilliams

    I love both of these! Love Dean’s imagery of a thawing bird song, and Cynthia’s has the perfect rhythm of a song lyric.

  • Renee LaTulippe

    I like your Spring-y superhero, Damon! Cynthia, I really appreciate your gentle message and lovely rhythm. Brava.

  • Debra Shumaker

    Damon, after 12 snow days for the kids, I think SpringMan has finally arrived here in VA. So your poem is much appreciated! And Cynthia, I love, love, love the message of yours. Difficult choice again.

  • Samuel Kent

    Holiest of mackerels, guys! Truly well done, both of you!

  • Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    These two are both very well done. Spring as super-hero, yes!!!! Cynthia, I’m impressed with the way you used a difficult word–great poem.

  • Marcus Ewert

    Damon Dean- wait till you read my poem for this round! Our poems are such and salt-and-pepper shakers of each other, it’s as if we planned it! CRAZY!

    • Damon Dean

      I did! We both had springitis! Great poem, hope it will fare better than mine. Cynthia beat me out by miles with a tough word!

      • Marcus Ewert

        Ha! Well, apparently this was not the year for wins by personifications of Spring speaking in the first person! I too got trounced – in my case by Michelle’s charming and industrious goats!

  • Phillip Van Wagoner

    Damon! My security guard would LOVE to meet with SpringMan! Great poem!

    Cynthia – this poem is SO true. So heartfelt. Thank you.

  • DeSales

    DeSales students voted for Cynthia! Good luck!

  • Damon Dean

    Congrats Cynthia! Loved your poem, as some have said with great rhythm and meaning. Well done!

  • Dave Crawley

    Hi Cynthia. I missed the early rounds. Didn’t know you were competing. Love the poem!