ROUND ONE: 5-shenanigans vs. 12-synthetic

[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:

Girls’ Guide to Camp
by Not Quite Shakespeare

Shenanigans can be fun,
If you learn how it’s done:
Fill their shoes with shaving cream,
Douse their sheets while they dream.
Tie a rope across a path,
Loan “shampoo” for their bath.
Shake tent, send up flares of noise—
Don’ t forget: blame the boys!


Broken  XBox
by Linda Kulp
His words are apologetic
But I know they’re simply synthetic—
With fake tears in his eyes
My brother spews out lies
Hoping I’ll be sympathetic!



5-shenanigans vs. 12-synthetic: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 5-shenanigans (Not Quite Shakespeare) (62%, 60 Votes)
  • 12-synthetic (Linda Kulp) (38%, 37 Votes)

Total Voters: 97

Loading ... Loading ...


Did you like this matchup? Show these poets your support by sharing this post now (see buttons below).

Like it? Share it!

Like me? Subscribe to TKT!

  • Not Quite Shakespeare

    Linda, I love your xbox poem! This has actually happened at my house, so I have a particular appreciation for the scenario. :)

  • Heidi Mordhorst

    You both nailed it for the girls. I just love how many match-up are turning out to be companion poems. : )

  • laurasalas

    Love these odes to trouble-making kids!

  • Linda

    Hey NQS, I love your poem too! Why did you have to be so darned good? I see that you are a novelist. What is the title of your book? I know it’s wonderful! Have a great weekend!

    • Not Quite Shakespeare

      Linda, I’m trying to be all undercover here (in an effort to shake up my creative life!) and Not Quite succeeding. (are you noticing a theme?? I am.) ANYHOW. my debut children’s novel is LEAVING GEE’S BEND and I have another coming in October called DON’T FEED THE BOY. But. My dream is to publish a collection of poems for children. Working working working. Happy weekend to you too!

      • Linda

        Well, the cat’s out of the bag now! I read reviews of LEAVNG GEE’S BEND. It sounds wonderful. I mostly read novels in verse because I’d like to try writing one someday. My dream is to publish children’s poetry too, but I think you are way ahead of me! I’ve visited your blog many times, and I’ve thought about contacting you, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. By the way, I also loved your poem in Storyworks (sorry I forget the title, but as I remember it was paired with a nonfiction piece about ships. I use Storyworks with my reading intervention students. It was fun seeing the name of someone I “know.” : )

        • Not Quite Shakespeare

          Thank you, Linda! Isn’t Storyworks awesome?? I’m so happy you enjoyed “Ship Spies a Light.” It was my very first publication in the children’s poetry market– which makes it all sparkly and glimmery in my mind. So pleased to make your acquaintance. I bet you could get even the most reluctant students to write something about an x-box. :)

  • Greg Pincus

    You two make it very hard to be a voter but a pleasure to be a reader, that’s all I’ll say.

  • Linda

    Congratulations NQS! You did a great job with this round. I will be cheering you on as you go all the way!