ROUND ONE: 2-panic vs. 15-kinkier

[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:

Alone after Dark
by Doraine Bennett

Heartbeat Races.
Stomach may Erupt.
Limbs shiver in Alarm.
Panic presses and terror Threatens.
Throat closes.  Eyes enlarge in Horror.
Stop! Curtail the turmoil. Create an Escape.


Worst Best Friend
by Allan Wolf
I say my hair is kinky,
but my best friend says, “Mine’s kinkier!”
I say that I’m a thinker,
but my best friend says, “I’m thinkier!”
Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad that she
is such a special friend to me.
I only wish my best friend were
A little bit Best Friendier.



2-panic vs. 15-kinkier: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 2-panic (Doraine Bennett) (26%, 34 Votes)
  • 15-kinkier (Allan Wolf) (74%, 97 Votes)

Total Voters: 131

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  • Doraine Bennett

    Okay. Yeah. I was starting to, but then I found the word.

  • Carol

    OK, I think I’m being really stupid, but I can’t find the Flight Two words. Can anyone help?

  • Renee LaTulippe

    Carol, go to the Poets’ Page, found under the Madness2012 dropdown menu at the top of this page. Here’s the direct link, where you’ll find your name and assigned word:

  • Katya

    Oof. Kinkier?! And I thought androgynous was going to be hard to work into a kid poem!

  • Allan Wolf

    What my wife heard me yell from behind my office door: “Ginger, I got kinkier!” I cannot repeat her reply.

    • Ed DeCaria

      I told you it was good! And you can’t even get away with just kinky. You have to come up with something even more kinky than something else. That’s why it’s a 15, though.

  • Renee LaTulippe

    Well played on the “kinkier,” Allan! I’m sure your wife is proud.

  • Doraine Bennett

    What a fun poem, Allan. I think my favorite line is the “thinkier” one.

  • Julie Larios

    So hard to choose – these are both terrific.

  • Joy Acey

    What great poems. Well done poets. thanks for allowing me to read your creations.

  • Pam

    Fighting over whose hair is kinkier__gutsy and very funny! I also love the word thinkier. Doraine__clever! I think I may have exhaled and ahhhhed at the end. Good work to the both of you.

  • laurasalas

    Oh, this was a tough one. I love the mood of Dori’s and the wordplay of Allan’s. Great job!

  • Melinda Harvey

    Fun creations, Poets! I am a sucker for the intravista; well done, Doraine!

  • Carol Baldwin

    Kudos to both of you, but ALan– I can just imagine you announcing that you just got “kinkier”!

  • Unkl ‘Possum

    With joy and doubt deep in my heart,
    my quandry’s sub-ventricular –
    To choose between these two fun poems,
    it makes me feel… panicky-er.

    (with apologies and a wink to the authors)
    Thanks for playing!

  • Stephen W Cahill

    I can’t decide! Two of the best poems yet – and both so different. Oh what the heck, it’s got to be kinkier – I love that word thinkier too much!

  • Ms Simmons Class

    Don’t let us down! We’ve bet 25 cents on you. Go Allan.

    • Allan Wolf

      Thank you Ms. Simmons’ Class. You are very sweet, but does your school sanction gambling?

  • Rebecca Hall

    Hi, Allan:

    I know no one more “wordier” than you. Good Luck!