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:
The Overgrown Garden
by Kathy Ellen Davis
When the King’s flower garden got way out of hand,
A royal decree was send out through the land.
“Seeking brave men to battle towering weeds:
The princess’s hand to the one who succeeds.”
Men tried pulling and yanking, but all of them failed.
Until one knight came along and simply exhaled.
One whiff of his breath sent those weeds to their death
and this story ends wonderfully well,
for Sir Halitosis and his new princess bride…
who lucky for her couldn’t smell.
MY SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT
by Eric Ode
Cogs and rods, wheels and gears and levers;
I taped and spliced and stapled them with care.
Then, feeling rather confident and clever,
I marched him to my grade-school science fair.
The judges smiled. My robot was a winner!
I thought I’d place that trophy on a shelf.
But while my project won that first-place ribbon,
he says he wants to keep it for himself.
5-towering vs. 13-spliced: Which Poem Did You Prefer?
- 5-towering (Kathy Ellen Davis) (58%, 74 Votes)
- 13-spliced (Eric Ode) (42%, 54 Votes)
Total Voters: 128
GET OUT THE VOTE. The average pairing in Round 1 generated 154 votes. For Round 2, our goal is to DOUBLE the average vote total for all matchups compared to Round 1 … that’s 300+ votes! Use the share buttons below and mention the madness wherever you go so that these poems reach more kids!