ROUND ONE: 2-prowl vs. 15-paternity

[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:

by Donna Martin

Foul fowl on the prowl,
With gnashing beak and beastly scowl.
What hunger makes your tummy growl?
Little mice that dart and cowl,
Run away fast from that ol’ night owl!


Paternity Patience
by Linda Baie

The emperor penguin does not ignore
His given chore,  of perilous paternity.
He stands and waits.  He waits and stands.
It seems for all eternity.
While the momma empress swims for need
And gobbles feed, expressing her maternity.
She glides and dives; she dives and glides.
It appears with taciturnity.



2-prowl vs. 15-paternity: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 2-prowl (Donna Martin) (51%, 54 Votes)
  • 15-paternity (Linda Baie) (49%, 51 Votes)

Total Voters: 105

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  • Joy Acey

    Good Luck with paternity. I was up last night thinking that was my word and it took me a while. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you.

  • Donna Smith

    Yipes, Linda! Have fun with that word! I’m rooting for you!

  • laurasalas

    Yowza–paternity? Hey, that reminds me. I know these are “kids’ poems.” Does that mean all the way up through YA age? I don’t remember seeing anything in the rules specifying ages…

    • Ed DeCaria

      I think that if people have a poem that they think is for more of a niche group, they should put that in the header. Otherwise, assume generic 7-15 range, not older or younger and not otherwise demographically-skewed.

  • Kristy Dempsey

    Also, Laura, I noticed you don’t have “paternity”. You have “knack”. Paternity is the person below you. Just wanted to make sure you saw the right word.

  • Kristy Dempsey

    Oh, duh! Wait, I think you realize that. I didn’t see this whole thread of a conversation above me. Ha!

  • Linda Baie

    I guess I didn’t even see that I was in round one. I looked at the grid, found the word, etc. Sorry! I just sent my poem to Ed.

  • Linda Baie

    Thank you Donna, I hope you’ve already been on the “prowl” for your poem. I can’t wait to see our twosome!

  • Julie Rowan-Zoch

    Go Donna!

  • Donna Martin

    Good luck, Linda. I was wondering why I didn’t see our poems…I thought the deadline was like 9a.m. This morning?

    • Ed DeCaria

      Yes, the deadline was 8-10am for most pairings, but please remember that everything I’m doing on the back end to get these things posted is multiplied by 32!

      • Donna Martin

        Oh, Ed, please don’t think I’m complaining…I was just a wee bit confused…;0)

        Thanks for all you do for this tournament!

  • Joy Acey

    Hey Linda,
    Great execution on a difficult word.

    This poetry tourney
    isn’t great for me.
    The word I got is

    Good luck inn the voting.

  • Carmela Martino

    Again, I had a hard time picking. Great job!

  • Julie Larios

    Great job, both of you – great kid appeal, and clever!!

  • Amy LV

    I loved this match too! These were lots of fun to read. Tough choice indeed!

  • Linda Baie

    Thanks everyone. Donna, I think our poems would be great in a children’s animal book, right? Our poems really speak of animal behavior!

    • Donna Martin

      Lol…Linda…yep, I think so too! In fact my poem got me thinking about expanding it to a PB story in verse. It looks like a close race…nice to know people like our work…;0)

  • Catherine Johnson

    Great poems ladies, this is neck and neck!

  • Donna Martin

    This is too cool! A race to the finish…I say Linda and I are BOTH winners for having so much fun…;-)

  • Ann Jacobus

    Great job with “paternity,” Linda! Both poems rock.

  • Heidi Mordhorst

    Oh boy–again the coincidence of subject matter, very unpredictably! A fine match-up. I like the folk-rhyme feel of Donna’s and the nice perspective on the science facts in Linda’s. Wow.

    • Donna Martin

      Thanks, Heidi! It looks like this one is going to be a close one…it’s bounced back and forth all day…;0)

  • laurasalas

    Wow, this is a close one. Great match-up! Please can’t I vote twice?

  • Allan Wolf

    Oooooooo. I am getting all goose-bumpy here in Asheville, NC!

  • Linda Baie

    I’m honored to have competed with you Donna. What a fun day to watch it go back & forth. I will watch for your next poem!! Thanks to everyone for our support!

    • Shopper Person

      Just found this site – too late to vote, but it would have DEFINITELY been for your poem! Wonderful poem! Loved it!

  • Donna Martin

    Linda, can this be true? I really, really expected YOU to be the winner of this round…such a great poem! And yes, my heartfelt thanks to all that voted…I am honored that there were people out there who enjoyed my poem and supported Linda and myself!

  • Donna Smith

    What a great race! Drove me crazy watching the back and forth. More like a tennis match! Super job!

  • Greg Pincus

    These are both faboo, and that makes it practically impossible to vote. That’s just wrong. Couldn’t one of you have written something less stellar? Huh? I swear. I’m gonna complain to management….

    • Ed DeCaria

      I dare you! You don’t know the power I have! :)

    • Donna Martin

      Thanks, Greg…I’m sure Linda feels the same way…we aimed to please…;0)