ROUND ONE: 2-buttered vs. 15-dismemberment

[click image to view matchup in full screen in a new window.]

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:

No Thank You, Mr. Brown
by Melinda Harvey

The weather warmed, the snow melted, the sap in maples guttered.
And in his little sugar shack, old Mr. Brown, he puttered.
With pots and tubes, a hot wood stove, the old shanty sure was cluttered.
The sweet sap filled a dozen pots.  With heat, their lids sure sputtered.
A little boy looked all about.  He saw the syrup and shuddered.
The crowd inside the sugar shack was shocked at what he uttered!
None for me, thanks Mr. B, but, I like my pancakes buttered.


Polly, the Pirate’s Peg-Leg Parrot
by JOY Acey

Polly, the Pirate’s Peg-Leg Parrot
ticked and lisped when ever she’d speak.
“Come on crew-T!” she did yell, clicking with her T’s
from the crack in her whacked beak.
“Dismember-T-Mate-T, dismember-T-Mate-T,”
she did call at me.
Dismemberment is what she meant–
This pirate of the sea.



2-buttered vs. 15-dismemberment: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 2-buttered (Melinda Harvey) (69%, 170 Votes)
  • 15-dismemberment (JOY Acey) (31%, 76 Votes)

Total Voters: 246

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  • Allan Wolf

    DANG! I wish I had gotten “dismemberment”!

    • Joy Acey

      Hey Allen,
      Don’t you know I don’t like using four syllable words in poetry for young children.
      But I do appreciate your encouragement and inspiration. I’ll try writing a boy poem, just for you.
      Princesses don’t do well with dismemberment–only queens. What was your word?

      • Ed DeCaria

        If you’re on the fence between boy poem and girl poem, you could collaborate with Katya Czaja and use both dismemberment and androgynous at the same time …

        • Joy Acey

          Are you crazy? Oh wait, I know you are to come up with the idea for March Poetry Madness and then to execute the whole thing so gracefully.
          thanks for the fun.

  • Allan Wolf

    Hey Joy,

    I got “kinkier.” Hmmmmm.

  • Jeanne Poland

    Dis is the most fun I’ve had cruising web.
    No dis intended.
    I’m dismayed at dismembered; remember dat!
    Jeanne Poland

  • Jeanne Poland

    Alas! Where is the vote button?

  • Joy Acey

    Thanks Jeanne. Me too, lots of fun.
    Tanks fer da support–I need all the support I can get, gravity is winning..

  • Tammy G.

    Love the poem Mrs. Harvey!! Thank you Rachelle W for sharing the link to thhis inspirational poem!!

  • Raymond Keen

    May the best poet win!

  • Patricia Nozell

    Great fun! Very tough to choose a winner here!

  • Barbara Younger

    Fun! You both brought us instantly into the poem’s world.

    • Joy Acey

      Thank you for coming by to read the poems and to vote.

  • Denise R.

    Some days I like mine buttered too Mrs. Harvey! Excellent poem…you inspire us all!! You have our vote! Can’t wait to read your next one!!

  • Melinda Harvey

    This is a lot of fun! Thank you all for your votes and positive words. Thank you to Joy for the stiff competition!

    • LaGrou Family!

      Great job Mrs.Harvey! We love your poem.

  • Debbie

    Great job poets! LOL. I don’t know what I would have done with dismemberment! Now I’m craving pancakes. :-)

    • Joy Acey

      Thanks for reading the poems. I hope you are writing your own poems too. Have fun.

  • Blonnie Bunn Wyche

    Hi Joy, You and your poetry are always so much fun! Thanks for another great laugh with Polly and the pirate crew. Blonnie

    • Joy Acey

      I’ve never seen a peg-leg parrot. Have you?
      Keep writing. Thank you for reading the poems.

  • Leon Hinton

    Good job, Joy. Good to hear from you.

  • Joy Acey

    Thanks so much to everyone for reading the poems and for voting. This is great. I’m counting all my blessings and it is wonderful to have so many.
    Fantastic job on Buttered Melinda.

  • Next door neighbors…

    Great poem Mrs. Harvey… it brings us memories of Maple Weekend in WNY.

  • Devon Greier

    My whole family likes the poem Mrs.Harvey!

    • Phillip mercurio

      Hi devon!

  • Michael Shady

    go Mrs.Harvey i love your poem i would vote for you 100 times if i could

    • Ed DeCaria

      Hey, no cheating! Just kidding — thank you for visiting and voting! -Ed

      • Joy Acey

        Hey Ed,
        Thanks for the fun. Can you believe it! Over 200 people have read our poems. Is that fantastic, or what?
        Children’s poetry rules.

        • Ed DeCaria

          Children’s poetry rules.”

          Yes, it does.

  • Marge Oelrich

    Great job Joy on your dismemberment word.

  • Abigail Tucker

    Great poem!You are great poet Mrs.Harvey.I love your poem!

  • Angela Lagrou

    Great job Mrs.Harvey!! I love your poem! You did a REALLY good job with your word “buttered”!

  • Angela Lagrou

    I want to vote again! I LOVE your poem:)

  • Heidi Mordhorst

    I love the idea that a pirate’s parrot is probably cracked and whacked and at least partially dismembered. Good on ya, Joy, for finding a way into that word (which may be the toughest in this round), and Mrs. Harvey with your fan club, you deserve it for all your end rhymes alone. Thanks for the fun!

  • Joy Acey

    Help. I’m getting hammered here. Anybody want to root for the underdog? Does the #15th seed have a chance to win over the #2?
    Way to go Melinda.
    Where are my basketball buddies when I need them?

  • Phillip mercurio

    I love mrs.Harveys poem! Joy did a nice job too!

    • Joy Acey

      Hi Phillip. Thanks for the kind words to Mrs. Harvey and especially to me. I appreciate your taking the time to read our poems and to vote.

  • Ben Cichowski

    Mrs.Harvey I realy liked your pome “No Thank you Mr.Brown”.I also like Joy’s pome”Polly,the pirates peg leg parriot.

    • Joy Acey

      Hey Ben,
      Both Polly and I thank you for your kind words.

  • Megan axelson

    I love both of your poems. Joy great job on the word dismemberment. That is a very hard word. Mrs.Harvey nice poem.You have a really good flow.You guys have inspired me! I wish you guys the best of luck.You guys are all winners to me.

    • Joy Acey

      After the lickin I’m taking from Mrs. Harvey, I appreciate your encouragement. Thank you.

  • marissa volk

    Go Mrs.Harvey! I really like your poem

  • Jacob dubisz

    Nice job mrs.harvey yor poem reminds me of what i do making maple syrupe.

  • Jacob dubisz

    Joy i like yore poem but i like mrs.harveys poem better

    • Joy Acey

      Thanks Jacob.
      My oldest son is named Jacob,so I like you name. Thank you for reading my poem. I appreciate that. And you are always welcome to read more of my poems at
      drop by anytime.
      I hope you are writing your own poems. You can share them at my web site. ;-)

  • Joy Acey

    Congratulations Melinda Harvey. Well done. Excellent poem.
    I’m one and done. Thank you for bringing so many people by to read our poems.


    • Angela Lagrou

      Joy, I think your poem was great:) Your both winners to me

  • Joy Acey

    Thanks Ed. See you next year if not before.

  • Robyn Hood Black

    Great job, Ladies! Joy, see you in May at the Founders Workshop!

    • Joy Acey

      Thanks Robyn,
      I’m looking forward to seeing you too. Heidi will you be at the Highlights Founder’s Workshop too? Can we play some more poetry tag?

  • Melinda Harvey

    I am giddy, I’m grateful…I’m off to round two. I’m very aware that it’s all thanks to you! Thank you so very much for the enthusiastic support. Joy, it was an honor to be matched with Poetry Royalty. Because of our match-up, I found your blog,, which I will share often with my students!

  • Angela Lagrou

    Great job MRS.HARVEY!!!!! AND your competion, Joy Acey.

  • Joy Acey

    Thanks everybody. You made this competition a barrel of fun.
    Thanks especially to you Melinda. Have fun with the rest of the tournament. Please stop by my blog anytime. I hope you find it a place for poetry fun.

    Joy Acey
    Princess of Poetry

  • luke clapp

    hello phillip,devon and who ever left a reply.I loved Mrs Harvey’s poem.I can not wait till the next poem of does lol stand for life of liquid,lol,good luck!

  • luke clapp

    hello…………………I’ve got nothing