ROUND TWO: 6-fringe vs. 3-cursed

[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:

Medieval Mansions
by Kathryn Apel

Medieval maidens made a mansion in their hair,
with turrets wrought on wire; an elaborate affair
adorned with flowing ribbons, charming knights they hoped to snare.
Alas, it was a haven for fringe dwellers not so fair.
Lice and mice and cockroaches – and yes, I do declare,
birds and other vermin, caused fair maidens to despair.
Medieval maidens made a mansion in their hair;
I wonder if they ever had a hare inhabit there…


Lament of a Vegetarian Ogre
by Laura Salas

I cursed the doctor! Stamped my feet
when he decreed, “You can’t eat meat.”

I tried an apple—crunchy, fresh—
but hankered for some human flesh.

A neighbor brightened up my mood.
That dummy made some yummy food.

I love those neighbor kids the most–
burned and served on garlic toast. (Burrrrrp.)

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved



6-fringe vs. 3-cursed: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-fringe (Kathryn Apel) (55%, 94 Votes)
  • 3-cursed (Laura Salas) (45%, 77 Votes)

Total Voters: 170

Loading ... Loading ...

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!

Like it? Share it!

Like me? Subscribe to TKT!

  • Catherine Johnson

    These are both delightful, ladies! Love your vivid imagination Kat :)

  • Sally Odgers

    Brilliant! The hare/hair pun had me in the end, though.

  • Julie Larios

    Fine job, both of you! Laura, I love the dummy/yummy internal rhyme!

  • Donna Smith

    Your hare is/looks great, Kathryn! Kids on garlic toast…hmmm. Guess it would make you burp a bit, Laura!

  • Amy LV

    These are enchanted! Kathryn – My daughter was just in Laura Ann Schiltz’s poem/play GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES!, so I am relating to those lice and critters. Laura – The idea of a vegetarian ogre slays me.

  • Greg Pincus

    These both make me very happy. Of course, part of that is cuz I don’t live next to the ogre, it’s true, but forgetting that… so well done, both of you!

  • Quinette Cook

    Oh, if only the Ogre could meet the maiden with the things in her hair! Wait, that sounds familiar. These were both quite good yummy, er visual. Great job ladies!

  • Renee LaTulippe

    How can you not like kids on garlic toast?? Both wonderfully icky, but I’m a sucker for an ogre!

  • Kathryn Apel

    Laura – Great job. What the doctor doesn’t know…? ;)
    Quinette – that’s what I was thinking. Quite a well-matched pair!
    Amy – This poem reaches back to long-ago days of high school Home Ec – learning about different eras of clothing. The scalp-crawling image has stayed with me…
    All – Your encouraging comments are a delight to read. It’s a wonderful job to share poetry with other lovers.

  • Stephen W Cahill

    I’ve always fancied fair maidens, and cannibalism for that matter. Love these!

  • Allan Wolf

    For what it’s worth: I have a houseful of boys who chose the Ogre, hands-down. Nicely wrought.

  • juliekrantz

    Big smiles all round, Ladies!

  • Pam

    Reading these has been so much fun! Great, Great job to both of you! why am I thinking of the movie, shrek? hmmm

  • Hannah Ruth Wilde

    It’s becoming a kind of torture to have to vote! These are SO MUCH FUN!

    • Susan Taylor Brown

      Hannah, exactly! It hurts to not be able to vote for both good poems.

  • Jim Hill

    I liked them both. So… tough… to… vote…

    • Stephanie Farrow

      Hi, Jim! Will we see yours next year??

  • laurasalas

    Congratulations, Kathryn! I love all the really concrete nouns in your poem. I could really picture every bit of it (even the part I kinda wished I couldn’t:>) Good luck in Round Three, and thanks for all the comments, everyone!

  • Ed DeCaria

    Thank you for delivering two amazing poems, Laura. Your Round 1 “knack” poem was simply stunning, and the “cursed” Ogre here is great (and earned my vote — sorry Kathryn!). Love the surprise burp as the kicker at the end.

  • Book Chook

    Tricky this choosing, but Kat’s ahead by a whisker!

  • Julie Larios

    Oh, ouch, hate to see Laura eliminated. Great poems in both rounds, Laura!

  • Michelle Brock

    Kat I’d just love to see the illustrations. Well done