ROUND ONE: 5-subliminal vs. 12-curmudgeon

[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:

Tick Tac Toe
by Sarah C. Pilon

Tickle tickle goes the sticks
Searching through my hair.

Ticked off, that’s my Mom.
I just heard her swear.

Mom looks at me and shakes her head.
Her face is redder than fire engine red.

“My message wasn’t subliminal! How could you not hear?
I told you the dog had ticks and you had to steer clear.”

             When your dog asks you to play tick tac toe,
             It’s not what you think.
             Just say NO.


Tongue Twister
by Jeanne Poland

Curmudgeon bites black  bitter brambles,
Stingy mingy meager mites;
Clutches skinflint’s crackly claws
on cheapskate’s dungeon’s rock-hard floors.

(Try saying this 5x rapidly.)



5-subliminal vs. 12-curmudgeon: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 5-subliminal (Sarah C. Pilon) (40%, 38 Votes)
  • 12-curmudgeon (Jeanne Poland) (60%, 58 Votes)

Total Voters: 96

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  • Greg Pincus

    It’s so odd, but somehow I had a sense that subliminal was part of this event….

  • laurasalas

    Subliminal was a see 5 word. Yikes!

  • laurasalas

    I meant, “seed 5 word? Yikes!”

  • Heidi Mordhorst

    I think a diet of stingy mingy meager mites might leave me a curmudgeon too…

  • Jeanne Poland

    Dear Heidi:
    I love reading your juicy little universe!
    I have a white nightshirt with glitter words reading “Juicy” and a sparkling watermelon slice.
    This Madness Phenomena has my mate writing and voting for poems, my 34 year old son composing and even my 3 year old grand-daughter wrote her first:
    You switch to decoffinated crept up on me today! Great slide over to the other side of decaffeinated! Jeanne

  • Sarah C. Pilon

    Congratulations, Jeanne. Good luck in the next round :)