ROUND TWO: 5-sterile vs. 4-smothered


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:

5-sterile
Murphy’s Law
By Tiffany Strelitz Haber

Sterile Merrill’s happy. Sterile Merrill’s clean.
Sterile Merrill’s wearing gloves to read her magazine.

Sterile Merrill’s hungry. Sterile Merrill eats.
Sterile Merrill boils all her favorite snacktime treats.

Sterile Merrill’s thirsty. Boy, she loves to drink!
Whoops, she spilled the water from her shiny bathroom sink.

She falls into the toilet, after slipping on the floor.
Sterile Merrill’s not so very sterile anymore.

vs.

4-smothered
The Gig that Made Me Famous
By Kathy Ellen Davis

One day I was searching (I like to stay working!), when a wanted ad caught my eye.
“Must be small, can be green, must be round, must be clean, the weak-hearted need not apply.”

It was easy to see, this was perfect for me: my email was soon on its way.
Just an hour passed by, then I got this reply: “You got it! We’ll be by today!”

When I got to the job, my head started to throb; I didn’t think it’d be this tight.
I was cramped and covered, all squished and smothered, by mattresses all through the night.

When the morning light came, so did fortune and fame; my eye hurt but I was set free!
And that’s the true story, in all of its glory: “The Princess and the black-eyed pea.”

 




5-sterile vs. 4-smothered: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 5-sterile (Tiffany Strelitz Haber) (58%, 133 Votes)
  • 4-smothered (Kathy Ellen Davis) (42%, 98 Votes)

Total Voters: 231

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  • http://www.loridegman.com Lori Degman

    This is too tough – I have to come back for a few more reads before I vote!! Well done, ladies!!

  • http://deborahholtwilliams.blogspot.com Deborah Holt Williams

    Kathy–I love your pea’s eye view! Genius!

  • http://www.quinettecook.com Quinette Cook

    While these are both well executed, I have to say that Kathy’s poem is exceptional. Think about it, not only does she use her assigned word she retells a fairy tale in 8 lines, that rhyme AND from the pea’s point of view (and it’s contemporary). Now that’s an “authlete!”

  • Marileta Robinson

    I really enjoyed the modern twist on “Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear.”

  • Patricia Nozell

    Very creative uses of these words! A joy to read!

  • Carrie Finison

    Both of these had me laughing – great work both of you! I especially loved the big reveal at the end of Kathy Ellen’s poem. The pea’s side of the story is a really unique twist on that old tale.

  • http://www.pennyklostermann.com Penny Klostermann

    Both extremely clever and enjoyable!

  • http://www.debbielacroix.com Debbie LaCroix

    Love the creative twist of the pea!
    Sterile was fun too.
    Great job ladies!

  • http://www.robynhoodblack.com Robyn Hood Black

    Very fun. Poor Merrill! And the little worker pea is delightful. Thanks, Ladies.

  • http://sevenacresky.wordpress.com Damon Dean

    Both were hilariously entertaining. I love ANY ‘other side of the story’ insights like the pea tale. But the rhymy clappy meter of Merrill’s story got me too. Thanks for the laugh out louds Ladies!

  • http://www.childrensauthorbjlee.com B.J. Lee

    Both very clever, ladies! Very close, imho

  • http://tabathayeatts.blogspot.com/ Tabatha

    Both are so inventive!! This is a really tough choice!

  • http://readingyear.blogspot.com Mary Lee

    HA! I love Robyn’s “worker pea.” Both of these are so funny — kids will love them!

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliekrantzbooks juliekrantz

    Oh, wow, another incredible match!

  • http://www.animalhero.com Dave Crawley

    Neither too “sterile,” nor “smothered” with extraneous words. Two good choices!