ROUND ONE: 4-otherwise vs. 13-megalomaniacal


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’d 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.
  • In the Public Vote, anyone may vote, but only one vote is allowed per IP address.
  • In the Classroom Vote, you must be registered and logged in to vote.
    • Official voting classrooms should read and discuss each poem and then submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.
  • In the Authlete Vote, you must be a 2015 authlete and logged in to vote.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
  • Whether or not the poem adheres to the poem requirements for the contest.
  • Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
  • Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
  • Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
  • Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.

Apply your own criteria as well! For more on the above concepts, check out POEMETRICS™.

Here are the poems:


4-otherwise what does it mean?
Henny and Kangarooster: A Love Story
By Buffy Silverman

A lonely bird, a loveless hen, pined and daydreamed in her pen,
until she eyed the kangarooster. She begged a chick to introduce her.
The day she met this Romeo, she hoped that he would be her beau.
Otherwise, she’d wilt and mope. She’d die alone. How could she cope?

She watched him sproing, she heard him crow. His boinging thumps set her aglow.
She clucked and flapped a wingding show. An arrow flew from Cupid’s bow.
Kanga gaped and was entranced. He cock-a-doodled as she danced.
And thus began their grand affair: this boinging, clucking, mismatched pair.



13-megalomaniacal what does it mean?
My Brother
By Marla Lesage

Yesterday my brother found a strange chemical.
So he drank it right down and then ran around town
in Mom’s fanciest gown yelling, “I need a crown!”
Now my parents think he’s megalomaniacal.
But that old Dr. Brown? He just said with a frown,
“If you give him a crown he will soon settle down.
You shouldn’t let yourselves get so hysterical.”


Public Vote (4-otherwise vs. 13-megalomaniacal)
Final Results:
4-otherwise vs. 13-megalomaniacal

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
4-otherwise vs. 13-megalomaniacal
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
4-otherwise vs. 13-megalomaniacal

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  • deborahhwilliams

    Megalomaniacal–diabolically difficult word!

    • Ryan

      Agreed. One of the toughest words on the docket.

  • Renee LaTulippe

    It’s a tough one, but oh, I love that kangarooster!

  • lillpluta

    Enjoyed both of these. I’m imagining the megalomaniacal bother boing-boinging around town with the kangarooster. Or something like that.

  • Samuel Kent

    Buffy: SPROING?! Clever for the inner rhyme. Marla, using abbabba rhyme scheme was a unique choice for a difficult word. Good luck to both of you!

    • Renee LaTulippe

      I was so happy to see SPROING in there! :D

      • Samuel Kent

        It made me smile. Onomatopoeia are the best!

  • Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    “Megalomaniacal! Killer-word but won’t forget it thanks to your poem and “crown” metaphor. Both poems terrific. The Kankarooster romance touches the heartstrings, Buffy!

  • Buffy Silverman

    Thanks for the kind comments, all. I enjoyed your poem, Marla–you did a great job with a dastardly word!

    • Marla Lesage

      Congrats Buffy!

  • Phillip Van Wagoner

    The kangarooster is great! What does that thing look like?

  • Marla Lesage

    Thank you Buffy. I like your poem, it’s fun.
    I don’t usually use big words, unless they’re medical terms.

  • Donna Smith

    Those classroom votes were really close! Congratulations, Buffy for moving on! And Marla, great job with a nearly un-utterable word!

  • Ed DeCaria

    Congrats, Buffy! Marla, you were winning the kids’ vote 13-12 with 1 hour left, and then Buffy took 3 of the final 4 votes for the narrow win. Thank you, both!

    • Marla Lesage

      I’m impressed with my results in the classroom vote.

      • Buffy Silverman

        Thanks for the good match, Marla! (And I hope if you enter again next year you get the luck of a lower seed!)

  • Damon Dean

    Whew! Close vote on the classroom…great win Buffy. Marla, I did not know you knew my brother…