ROUND ONE: 5-milestone vs. 12-dispassionate


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Voter Instructions:

  • The countdown at the bottom of each pairing indicates how much time is left to vote.
    • When voting closes, timer will disappear.
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  • Mark the poem you like best by clicking the circle next to its name.
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    • Official voting classrooms should read and discuss each poem and then submit one vote as a class.
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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:


5-milestone what does it mean?
Naps are for Losers
By Suz Blackaby

The starting gun sounded, the racers were off!
One quick as a bunny, one more like a sloth.
The hare passed a milestone and stopped for a snooze.
The tortoise kept going. “I don’t like to lose!”
What were her chances? Almost nonexistent,
but she stayed awake and her pace was insistent.
These are the facts of this fabled defeat:
The tortoise? She won. And the hare? He got beat.



12-dispassionate what does it mean?
Every Hero Needs a Stylist
By E. Kristin Anderson

He’s a dispassionate assassin,
in downtown alleys, colors clashing,
my brother thinks he’s gonna dash in—
solve the crime, no sense of fashion.

Guys like Batman know to go all black
and psych out bad guys with a sneak attack.
Alas, crime prevails when heroes slack …
and I want my sequined slippers back!


Public Vote (5-milestone vs. 12-dispassionate)
Final Results:
5-milestone vs. 12-dispassionate

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
5-milestone vs. 12-dispassionate
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
5-milestone vs. 12-dispassionate

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  • Samuel Kent

    Suz, I really appreciate that even with a 5-seed word, you don’t shy away from vocabulary that could probably come in at 11 or 12 seed.

    Ms. Anderson, I loved this couplet most of all:

    my brother thinks he’s gonna dash in—

    solve the crime, no sense of fashion.

    • E. Kristin Anderson

      Thanks so much, Samuel!

  • Donna Smith

    Close…a difficult choice to make – the flow or the rap.

  • Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    Hard to choose; considered long and hard. Both wonderful!

  • Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    Great take on old fable, Suz. “Dispassionate assassion”! Wonderful movie title. Love ‘em both.

    • E. Kristin Anderson

      Someone should so make that movie, right?

  • Jone MacCulloch

    Suz, the pacing made me fell like I was in the race. But I do love my naps.

  • Melanie Manzer Kyer

    Both great poems! But Suz, you won me over with your quick pace and it was a great twist that the tortoise was a girl, too! :) Nice work!