ROUND ONE: 4-apex vs. 13-carnivorous

r1f2 4-apex vs. 13-carnivorous

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:

Playground Problem
by Elizabeth McBride

A hippo on a teeter totter
teetered with his tiny daughter.
They tried to go up and down,
but he never left the ground.
From the apex she soon scolded,
while he felt his knees had folded!
Nothing budged, although he tried.
That’s how it became a slide.


Poet Hunting
by Angie Karcher

Psssttt…Have you seen a poet? Yes, you there, at the screen.
I smell their rancid poetry, malodorous and lean.
When hunting herds of poets I listen for the sounds
of clicking-ticking-typing…they stop when I’m around.
My stealthy occupation of eating them for lunch
is tawdry and distasteful, but I like the way they “CRUNCH.”
Poetically carnivorous; my appetite immense.
So let the feeding frenzy of hysteria commence!


Public Vote (4-apex vs. 13-carnivorous)
Final Results:
4-apex vs. 13-carnivorous

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
4-apex vs. 13-carnivorous
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
4-apex vs. 13-carnivorous

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  • Quinette Cook

    Teetering back and forth, it’s a weighty decision. If I vote for Elizabeth will Angie come to eat me!

    • Elizabeth McBride

      Another poem in the making, Quinette!

  • Catherine

    That hippo poem is so cute! And I love the escalation of silliness of

    • Elizabeth McBride

      Thank you! I was hoping the folding knees weren’t getting too gross! Angie’s escalation creeps up on you – It’s very effective!

  • Jackie Wellington

    Great job, both of you. Awesome poems.

    • Elizabeth McBride

      Thank you! It is more nerve-wracking than I expected. I keep seeing things to change, but…too late!

  • Cecilia Clark

    a difficult choice, well done to both poets

    • Elizabeth McBride

      Thank you!!

  • Damon Dean

    Ha! Your playground dilemma is perfect for your word, Elizabeth! And Angie, your poem makes me look over my shoulder….shudder!!! I almost feel a stealthy breath on my neck.

    • Elizabeth McBride

      Kinda got hung up on the apex – and it went from there!

  • Angie Karcher

    Elizabeth, I thoroughly enjoyed your poem. The image of a daddy hippo trying SO hard to teeter totter is priceless. I wish you the best of luck. The ultimate winner here is Children’s Poetry! = )

    • Elizabeth McBride

      True confession is that my dear children got some very ‘shallow’ teeter-totter rides from me for fear that I might leave them up in the air, or that they would come rolling forward! So – the image came from ‘real life,’ you might say! I loved your word choices and the addition of the perfect ‘crunch’! That was no easy word you received, and you really handled it well!

  • Mother Streusel

    Oh my gosh these two!!!! SOOOOOOOOOOooooooo good!!!!!!

    • Elizabeth McBride

      Thank you! I’m enjoying reading all the incredible poems on the site. What a great thing Ed is doing!

  • Bonnie Bailey

    Elizabeth, how wonderfully clever. A hippo daddy and daughter on a teeter totter. That kind of creative thought makes this really fun.

    • Elizabeth McBride

      Thank you, Bonnie! Maybe I’m just concentrating on my hope for Spring and playgrounds that are no longer snow-covered! :-)

  • Bonnie Bailey

    Angie, I’m picturing “herds of poets”. Heh heh heh :D

  • Ashley Potts

    Loved the imagery both poems offered – especially given the word, “apex.” Who knew it could conjure such creativity. Well done!

    • Elizabeth McBride

      Hello Ashley! How nice to hear from you! Thank you so much! Hope all is going well for you :-)

  • Debra Shumaker

    Oh my gosh, what fantastic poems! I can imagine this one will be close!

    • Elizabeth McBride

      Maybe we should come up with another category for poems written by co-poets! Wouldn’t that be fun? Co-poets, poet-pairs, duo-poets…

  • Jeanne Poland

    What does all this discrepancy between authlete and classroom mean?