ROUND THREE: 3-waif vs. 10-quorum

r3 3-waif vs. 10-quorum

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:

Primal Instinct
by Victoria Warneck

“Gotcha!” the owl announced to her prey.
“My Catch of the Day is a rodent soufflé!”

“Wait!” cried the mouse, “I am NOT fit to eat!
“I’m as gaunt as a waif – I’m all bones and no meat.”

“Gaunt?” laughed the owl. “That’s plainly absurd!
“You look plenty juicy to this hungry bird.
“But perhaps you’re abandoned – a sad, lonely waif
“with no mother or father to help keep you safe?”

“My parents adore me!” lamented the mouse,
“I simply got lost. Now I can’t find my house!”

“Why then…someone will miss you,” said owl, now shaken.
“Let’s fly you straight home – I’ve been badly mistaken!”

“You don’t plan to gobble me up in one bite?”

“Not today, little mouse – it just wouldn’t be right.
“I’ve remembered a duty above any other.
“I’m a predator, yes……..but I’m also a mother!”


One For All
by Ally Keenan

I request a forum, with a quorum with my equally frustrated peers,
My fellow students, who have also had excessive homework bore them to tears.
I have a theory, and I hope you can hear me when I say, this is just not fun!
Aren’t we all tired of that nightly worry, the wondering if it will ever get done?
Well, I say, take that endless paperwork and fold it up real tight
Because, honestly,
Aren’t paper airplanes far more fun than studying Orville and Wibur Wright?
Now don’t get me wrong, studying definitely has its place,
But wouldn’t it be great to get through dinner, just once, without feeling your pulse race?
Couldn’t it also be that teachers are just as annoyed as me,
with the nightly correcting of this mess?
Wouldn’t they feel great, if they found they didn’t need to stay up so late,
and actually thought about school less?
So, my friends, please listen when I say, let’s eliminate the problem at its source.
Quickly! Go! Advise your teachers that homework should simply be a choice!


Public Vote (3-waif vs. 10-quorum)
Final Results:
3-waif vs. 10-quorum

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
3-waif vs. 10-quorum
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
3-waif vs. 10-quorum

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  • Renee LaTulippe

    I’m sure that would be a popular political platform, Ally. :) Victoria, wonderful story, meter, and rhyme – how can you go wrong when you throw a souffle’ into the poem? Lovely surprise ending. Brava!

  • Linda Baie

    Fun to see the two kinds of stories. I know that our middle school students will cheer for you poem, Ally, & Victoria-beautifully done, would be a nice beginning to a picture book!

  • Mother Streusel

    These are so great!!! I’m excited to see which one wins. I think this one will be a tough call.

  • Quinette Cook

    I couldn’t help going to “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats” (great book if you haven’t read it) with Victoria’s poem.
    And I’m sure everyone who has ever had a pile of homework can relate to Ally’s poem. :)

  • Darren Sardelli

    Victoria – Your poem is another Round 3 poem I’m extremely impressed with. When I read poetry for children, the fist thing I look for is good meter and rhythm. You have it!!!

    Ally – I agree! It’s time to stand up to homework and make some changes!!!

  • Elizabeth McBride

    Victoria, your poem reads so very well! Love the turn in the end! And Ally – you are right; homework is homework all the way around – from student back to teacher!

  • Buffy Silverman

    Love that rodent souffle! Great rhyme and meter, and an owl with heart. And I’m sure students will be happy to participate in your quorum, Ally!

  • Samuel Kent

    Victoria, yours reminded me a little bit of The Gruffalo.

  • Victoria Warneck

    Thank you for the kind words, everyone. I appreciate it! Ally, I think you’d find that most parents would be every bit as keen as their kids to jump on the anti-homework bandwagon!

  • Ally Keenan

    Congratulations, Victoria! Nicely done. I really enjoyed your poem. Have to say this hasn’t been a bad run for a 12 year old! Good luck, I’ll be cheering for you!

    • Gloson

      You’re 12? Wow. You have a lot of potential. :D

    • Victoria Warneck

      Wow, Ally! 12?? Good for you for joining in the fun, and for winning the classroom vote twice! Keep on writing!

    • Darren Sardelli

      Ally – you have a deep, poetic soul. I’m impressed with the poems you have written in this competition. Congrats on making it to Round 3. That’s huge!!!
      I’m looking forward to reading more of your poems in the future. Keep up the good work!!!

  • Ldegman

    Congrats, Victoria – good luck in the next round!

  • Renee LaTulippe

    Congratulations, Victoria!!!!!

  • Mother Streusel

    This was an awesome match up! Congratulations Victoria! Loved your poem. Ally, you are so talented!

  • Damon Dean

    Ally, you are right…homework is way over-rated! Loved this poem and I can’t believe you’re only 12…talent abounds in your writing! Thanks for engaging in this fun challenge.
    Victoria, a raptor who captured my heart! This was delightful and I can’t wait to see your next one!