ROUND ONE: 2-combination vs. 15-malingerer


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-combination what does it mean?
Another Kind of Party!
By Patti Richards

My annoying little brothers are a gruesome combination
Making noises that would give your hair a curl.
When my mom said we would have them, I used my imagination
To try and make believe that they’d be girls.
I pictured pink and purple at such dainty destinations,
Like afternoons with queens and cakes and tea.
But now our only parties start with this same invitation,
“Hey! Come out on the porch and watch me pee!”



15-malingerer what does it mean?
by Carissa Mina

I cannot do my chores today
because I am not well.
I tried to rise up out of bed
but to the floor I fell.
So there will be no vacuuming
or cleaning of my room
for if I were to try
I would be facing certain doom.
I cannot walk the dog
or even shovel up his poo
and scrubbing all the dishes
would be more than I can do.
I’d really love to help, I swear!
I want to do my part.

Some call me a malingerer,
but I just call me smart.


Public Vote (2-combination vs. 15-malingerer)
Final Results:
2-combination vs. 15-malingerer

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
2-combination vs. 15-malingerer
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
2-combination vs. 15-malingerer

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  • Samuel Kent

    Pee vs Poo. The students are going to love y’all. Carissa, I admire your use of contextual definition and your meter is TIGHT.

  • Donna Smith

    I noticed we had pee and poo to choose from too…nice!

  • Elizabeth Scarpelli

    great endings in both poems.

  • Ed DeCaria

    And we end the night with another SURPRISE ending! I thought both of these were great. Congrats to Carissa for moving on to Round Two, and Patti thank you for delivering a fun, well-written story.

    • Patti Bumpus Richards

      Thanks Ed! It was a nailbiter that’s for sure…Carissa pulled it out by one vote! Congratulations and good luck in round 2! For me? Maybe next year:)