ROUND ONE: 2-gripe vs. 15-dilettante

r1f1 2-gripe vs 15-dilettante

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:

by Jackie Wellington

This world is filled with griping folks, they grumble and they fuss
They tweet complaints and grievances, they mutter and they cuss
I know this happen to be true, a secret I must share
I am a griper, I’ll admit, but no one seem to care
When tweeting complaints and grievances, be careful what you type
One hundred forty characters, may trend the words you GRIPE
I know it shouldn’t bother me, when friends begin to GRIPE
But if you’re in a griping mood, please email me, don’t Skype!


Arthur the Aphid
by Karyn Linnell

For his last class before graduation,
Art Aphid took Art Appreciation.
“Your taste in art’s bad!” his teacher would taunt.
“I can’t even call you a dilettante!”

Art started painting. His paintings were great.
Art critics all said, “Art’s work is first rate!
If you don’t love him, you can’t be called smart!”
Now that professor appreciates Art!


Public Vote (2-gripe vs. 15-dilettante)
Final Results:
2-gripe vs. 15-dilettante

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
2-gripe vs. 15-dilettante
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
2-gripe vs. 15-dilettante

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  • Damon Dean

    Ha! Love the artsy aphid Art! And YES an email is much more tolerable (and deletable) than a Skype gripe! Tough vote between these two.

  • Gloson

    Hahaha. I LOVED the pun at the end, Karyn!

  • Linda Baie

    Both good and silly poems, full of opinions here!

  • Mother Streusel

    Thanks for the kind comments! And thanks, Jackie, for bringing it with a great poem! You’re an awesome poet, and I’m so glad to have been able to meet you through this competition.

  • Rebecca Colby

    Great poems, ladies! It’ll be close!

  • Quinette Cook

    Hmmm, tough choice.

  • Catherine

    A great rhyming gripe and a funny arty one. Great match up!

  • Buffy Silverman

    Great griping and fine art–enjoyed them both.

  • Mother Streusel

    A huge thanks to Ed for working the long, hard hours to make this happen, especially during the pressure of competition. And I probably owe your family thanks as well for putting up with all the MMPoetry craziness! ;)

    • Bonnie Bailey

      Seconded. Are you sleeping, Ed? At all?

  • Dave Crawley

    Only a dilettante would find something to gripe about in either of these poems…

  • Kathy Ellen Davis

    I like the griping and technology mashup, and who doesn’t love Art? Great poems!

  • Mother Streusel

    Hey guys!!! It took me 8 attempts before I came up with this poem…I just made a blog post with the rejects here: (In case you haven’t had enough poetry for one day.)

    • Bonnie Bailey

      Wow, your other “attempts” are awesome. I really like Attempt 2 as well. You’re probably right that young kids wouldn’t relate, but that’s a really nice read.

      • Mother Streusel

        Aw, that’s really sweet. I really appreciate your comments! :)

  • Mother Streusel

    Jackie, your meter is fantastic!

  • Mother Streusel

    Just want to give a shout out to all the kids and classrooms who voted (even if you didn’t vote for me) for making this competition so much more fun and important for all of us poets. I think most of us would agree that you guys are the reason we do this. We think kids are awesome, and we love writing poems to make you laugh, make you think, and make you have a better day. You inspire us with your imagination and make us want to be better writers! Thank you so much for reading and participating. Your vote matters to us so much more than you could imagine.

  • Jackie Wellington

    This was fun. Good job Mother Streusel. I enjoyed your poem. Good luck in the next round.

    • Mother Streusel

      Thanks for your kind comments, but this is not over yet! While I am currently ahead in the popular vote, you may have won the Authlete and classroom vote…I’m biting my nails to see who is the winner. I think the comments show that most people thought that our poems were pretty equally matched, so who knows the outcome!?

      • Mother Streusel

        Great match up, Jackie! In the classroom vote, a children’s poet’s target audience, you were the clear winner. Congratulations on winning the hearts of the kids! You made me work really hard, and it was a tough battle.