ROUND ONE: 4-muzzle vs. 13-reciprocate

[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:

Love Pug
by Rena Traxel

He has a big muzzle,
but don’t be afraid.
He’ll sniff you at first
then give you a kiss.
He’ll nuzzle your feet
and sample your food.
You’ll love him to death
and he’ll love you too!


First Date
by Eric Ode
I bravely asked her for a date.
I came at six. She made me wait.
We left her house at half-past-eight,
her tender hand to hold.
We dined and danced ’till it was late,
then, so she could reciprocate,
she kissed me at her garden gate
and left me with her cold.



4-muzzle vs. 13-reciprocate: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 4-muzzle (Rena Traxel) (22%, 22 Votes)
  • 13-reciprocate (Eric Ode) (78%, 80 Votes)

Total Voters: 102

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  • Eric Ode

    Wonderful entry, Rena! Best of luck to you.

  • Darren Sardelli

    Loved both poems! It’s interesting that each poem contained a kiss.

  • Rena J. Traxel

    Thanks Eric! Your poem made me laugh.

  • Kathryn Apel

    Awwww. Love all round, obviously. Well done both of you!

  • Debbie

    Rena, your poem is soo cute. Awwww. :-)

  • Greg Pincus

    Love and kisses to you both! Well done, indeed.

  • laurasalas

    Yikes–there’s a lot of dangerous kissing going on in these two poems. Kids, let that be a lesson to you… :>)

  • Allan Wolf

    Eric Ode has a code in his node!

  • Robyn Hood Black

    Who can resist a POOCH and a SMOOCH? Great job, both of you. Pugs and Kisses.

  • Eric Ode

    Very, very clever, Robyn!