ROUND ONE: 2-girth vs. 15-inchoate

r1f2 2-girth vs. 15-inchoate

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 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.
  • You can only vote once from a given IP address.
    • 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:

Said The Captain To The Hippo
by Bruce Balan

I’ve scrutinized your résumé,
its pros and cons I now can weigh:
You have aquatic pedigree
and never joined a mutiny
You’ve diving skills, but there’s… your weight
and I can’t have a drowsy mate

My ship has no sufficient berth
for one of such substantial girth


by Jeanne Poland

inchoate deeds are tap roots
primum well springs
inspiration stems

innate KINGS
early QUEENS
elementary births of greatness

inchoate, explicit, initial beginnings-
inch worms in the soil


Public Vote (2-girth vs. 15-inchoate)
Final Results:
2-girth vs. 15-inchoate

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
2-girth vs. 15-inchoate
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
2-girth vs. 15-inchoate

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  • Catherine

    These are both outstanding! Jeanne I couldn’t write one like that if I tried and Bruce what a great duet of berth and girth.

  • Quinette Cook

    Bruce, love that you wrote about the sailing life (indirectly).
    Jeanne, I don’t know what I would have done with that word!

  • Mother Streusel

    Great job! Really loved reading these!!!

  • Damon Dean

    Jean, you breathed out each potentiality so well. Love the ‘inch worms in the soil.’
    Bruce, this carefully negotiated interview was delightful! Did this hippo apply as your first mate at some port of call?
    Enjoyed reading these too!

  • julie krantz

    Hard time choosing–poems were both great.