REGIONAL SEMIFINALS: 6-fleet vs. 10-eclectic

[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:


Bob Along, Little Duckies
by Carol-Ann Hoyte

More than twenty thousand animals (not real but plastic toys)
left China on a cargo ship for U.S. girls and boys.
On a stormy night in nineteen-ninety-two,
the bathtub toys fell into the Pacific Ocean blue.

The spill of blue turtles, yellow ducks, and green frogs
were friendly-floatee sailors in a fleet that logged
a worldwide trip of seventeen-thousand miles
that led them to Hawaii and many other isles.
Fifteen years later, the toys washed up on land
along southwestern English beaches of sand.
Beachcombers were paid 50 British pounds
for each of the bathtime toys they had found.
for the rubber bobbers revealed a most curious notion:
scientists could use them to research ocean motion.


I’m NOT Eclectic
by Debbie LaCroix

My mom says I’m eclectic
but I don’t know what she means.
I like to play with dolls, and then I go climb trees.

You’ll catch me playing baseball, then shopping at the mall.
Sometimes I play the violin, then run screaming down the hall.
Worms are really cute, but I’d rather hug a goat.
And I think that rusty old barrel, will make an awesome boat.
Putting Mentos in a Diet Coke is really rather cool.
And maybe I will, or maybe I won’t, follow all your rules.

My mom says I’m eclectic
And I don’t know what she means.
I just really, really like
To do a lot of different things.



6-fleet vs. 10-eclectic: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-fleet (Carol-Ann Hoyte) (36%, 78 Votes)
  • 10-eclectic (Debbie LaCroix) (64%, 138 Votes)

Total Voters: 216

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GET OUT THE VOTE. The average pairing in Round 1 generated 154 votes. The average pairing in Round 2 generated 178 votes. Use the share buttons below and mention the madness wherever you go so that these poems reach more kids! And remember, encourage voting on EVERY MATCHUP, not just this one!

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  • Debbie

    I promise I won’t bite! :).

  • Quinette Cook

    These poems were both tremendous. There were so many things to like about them. And in the end I chose…

    • Quinette Cook

      Are tremendous. Not were. :)

  • Mary Lee

    I *heart* BOTH of these poems! Poetry and nonfiction — swoon!! Poems that define a word inside the poem — perfection!! How to choose!?!?

  • Patricia Nozell

    Both wonderful poems, ladies!

  • Renee LaTulippe

    Nice work, ladies!

  • Donna Martin

    Debbie, I LOVE your poem! Voted for ya!

  • Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

    Carol-Ann! I love that book DUCKY and we have the adult version, MOBY DUCK, too. Such a fascinating story. And Debbie, those eclectic characters are my favorite (new favorite picture book – PRUDENCE WANTS A PET…eclectic!) These are fantastic.

  • Stephanie Farrow

    I’ve been reading and reading these poems and have decided to sleep on it. Maybe the choice will come in a dream!

  • Michele Krueger

    Nicely handled! Bravo

  • Debbie

    Thanks all! Stephanie, sweet dreams. :-)

  • Sally Odgers

    It was very close for me.

  • Nancy Gow

    Well done, ladies. They’re both unique, original and fun!

  • Denise

    It was very hard to choose, Debbie and Carole-Ann! Ditto what others said about the great qualities of non-fiction and defining a word in poetry. Thanks for making it hard to vote!

    • Debbie L.

      Thanks everyone! I love to see what everyone comes up with. :-)

  • Debbie L.

    Great poem Carol-Ann. Thanks for being a great competitor.

    • Angela Lagrou

      Debbie, Great job! Everyone knew you could do it with how great of a poem writer you are. Your so good, that you will probably win the whole thing. You have a good chance of winning the whole thing. I hope you have good luck in the next round. Keep up the good,great,fantastic,amazing,super,best work. GOOD LUCK and GREAT JOB!!! :)

      • Debbie L.

        Thanks Angela, that is so sweet! It means a lot. I’ve never thought of myself as a poet, just a lover of words. I hope my next poem lives up to your expectations. :-)

  • Joelle Fialkowski

    Debbie L….YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Joelle Fialkowski


      • Debbie L.

        Like. LOL.

  • Heidi Bee Roemer

    You ladies ROCK! Thanks for sharing your talent with us.