ROUND ONE: 6-inbound vs. 11-abscond


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:

6-inbound
The Train
By Michele A. Norman

With anticipation, we watch for the inbound train
We hear it drawing closer, clickety-clack the clear refrain.

We lie flat on the grass, our ears pressed to the ground
There is a steady rumble, both a feeling and a sound.

We lift our eyes and see it, now streaking ’round the bend
Black like the coal that fires it, red caboose at the very end.

It gasps and chuffs great puffs of steam, that escape into the sky
We study them and dream a while after the train roars by.

vs.

11-abscond
The Thief
By Nessa Morris

While I hide from the voices I hear,
For a moment, I tremble in fear.
And I dare not respond.
With my loot, I abscond.
Then Mom screams, “Where’d my cookies go, dear?!?”

 




6-inbound vs. 11-abscond: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-inbound (Michele A. Norman) (50%, 120 Votes)
  • 11-abscond (Nessa Morris) (50%, 123 Votes)

Total Voters: 242

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  • http://www.NoWaterRiver.com Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    ABSCOND is one of my favorite words. Have fun with this nutty matchup!

  • http://canofbookworms.com Nessa Morris

    I read ABSCOND and trembled in fear. But, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. Bring it on, INBOUND, bring it on…

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

    These are two of the most normal words in this round! Have FUN!!

  • http://www.AlisonHertz.com Alison Hertz

    Inbound sound easy against abscond. Good luck, ladies!

  • http://www.poetrytalents.com Gloson Teh

    “The Train” and “The Thief” have one thing in common:

    They both have the same initials: TT They are very tough to vote!

    The Train made me thoughtful and dreamy whilst I burst out laughing at the Thief. Man..

  • http://www.NoWaterRiver.com Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    Once again, two very different poems that make voting so much harder. Nessa’s slice of child life is a hoot, but I love the wistful world Michele created, and this: “both a feeling and a sound.” Beautiful!

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

    I love the internal rhyme and imagery of “The Train.” One of my favorite sound…trains.

    On the other hand, who hasn’t eaten a whole package, er row, of Oreos!

  • http://www.stephenwcahill.com Stephen W cahill

    I can’t pick a winner! Both too good – will come back later..

  • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

    I really liked both of these. The imagery of just waiting for the train and then thinking about it afterward – such great childhood times. And the cookies – so spot on true!

  • http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com Catherine Johnson

    The first is lovely and the second is funny. So hard to choose, ladies.

  • http://www.buffysilverman.com Buffy Silverman

    Oh I remember hiding near the tracks and waiting for a train like this. And stealing cookies of course! You’ve both captured those childhood moments

  • Michele Krueger

    I’m choo-ing for Michele and chewing for Nessa!

  • http://canofbookworms.com Nessa Morris

    Haha! If people don’t vote for mine, I’m gonna have to chew them out :)

  • http://canofbookworms.com Nessa Morris

    C’mon, Stephen, you know I should get your sympathy vote since you kicked me out last year. Give me a chance, this year!

  • Michele Norman

    Reading all these poems is an absolute blast – thank you, Ed, for the challenge and the fun!

  • Michele Norman

    So funny that you feel the need to revisit later – I had the exact same reaction to the majority of the posts – that’s a very good thing I think!

  • Michele Norman

    I’m glad you liked “a feeling and a sound” – so great I think when what we experience has the power to confuse our senses!

  • http://canofbookworms.com Nessa Morris

    Very true, Michele. For most of these match-ups it was so difficult to choose a poem.

    And, of course, I read yours and thought, “Oh, no. I’m gonna get kicked out in the first round again.” You create fantastic imagery. Lovely poem.

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

    The vote is close…as it should be. Nice work!

  • Michele.Norman

    Thanks Nessa! The image your poem created for me was that of a wide-eyed child, mouth full and standing absolutely still. I think he’d say “uh oh,” if he could talk around the crumbs!

  • http://canofbookworms.com Nessa

    Michele, I read our poems to my kids. My almost four-year old daughter liked The Train best, and my six-year old son liked The Thief best. Even my kids are split down the middle on our poems. It’s funny, I would have guessed the other way around for the poems my kids liked best.

  • Michele Norman

    That’s great! When my 17 and 20 year olds get home, I’ll show them both the poems (without attribution) and see where they land…I’m betting my daughter will like The Thief and my son The Train. I’ll let you know!

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

    Michele, I had “clickety-clack” in my poem too :-)

  • Michele Norman

    I saw that this morning, Lori, and had to chuckle. I thought less about the use of a word I’ve never used before than I did about how riled we used to get during various political campaigns when the “hired guns” would be out holding signs for the opposition! I never new they were a claque!

  • Carrie Finison

    Wow, this is the closest race I’ve seen yet! Two great poems with a lot of kid appeal. Nessa, I love how even your kids were split!

  • kathy

    Super Nessa………..

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

    Difficult choice. Evoked family memories.
    I remember my Mom telling about running out to see the train go by…this poem illuminated that story for me, Michele.
    Then…hiding out with cookies…my sneaky little brother! You tagged him, Nessa.

  • Hannah Ruth Wilde

    Both of these are wonderfully surprising!

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

    Tough choice, ladies! Abscond is one of my all time favorite words, but I loved the ending of the inbound poem – it harkened back to my childhood wonder regarding trains.

  • Michele.Norman

    Damon – it’s Girl Scout cookie time and that’s the loot my siblings and I were always after! Nessa’s poem sent me right back to secret stashes of thin mints!

    The train for me is in Torrington, Wyoming where crushing pennies on the tracks is a right of passage.

  • Michele.Norman

    BJ – so glad you enjoyed the poems – few things better than good childhood memories and favorite words!

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

    SOOOOO hard to choose! Another amazing match-up. Yep, I love the imagery and that evocative last line of Michele’s, especially, and the way Nessa whipped up a fun scenario in a tight limerick for hers.

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

    Just voted and looked at the scoreboard for this one – it might be heading toward a photo finish!

  • Michele Norman

    How cool is that! Win or lose, I am — and I know Nessa is too — psyched to be part of something that is inspiring attention to creative, new writing for kids! Thanks for engaging Robyn!

  • Janet F.

    You both take us to childhood. While I never was near enough to lie down and hear the train approach, I did lie and look at clouds a lot and imagine. I still do, but usually in the car (when I am NOT driving, I might add) and while I never absconded with the cookies….I know someone who did. What a hoot. Loved your work. Makes me want to bake and play today. Good luck to each of you as this comes down to the wire.

  • http://canofbookworms.com Nessa Morris

    So, Ed, what happens in the event of a tie?

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      DANCE-OFF!

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    But really, there would be a 3-hour overtime period (clock would be reset) and then we’d let more votes come in …

  • http://canofbookworms.com Nessa Morris

    I think a live Dance-Off would be way more fun. People could vote on our poetry in motion :)

  • Michele Norman

    Phew, and I was thinking we’d have to have a shoot-out, high school hockey style!

  • Bill

    I’m looking forward to the dance off!

  • Carrie Finison

    I’m on the edge of my seat with this one…

  • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

    Oh wow … that was close. Congrats to you both.

  • Michele Norman

    Close and very fun! Thank you Ed!

  • Michele Norman

    And WELL DONE Nessa!

  • http://canofbookworms.com Nessa

    Thanks, Michele. Your poem was amazing. This has to be the closest MMP matchup ever.

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

    Congrats to both of you for words well played. Nessa, see you on the court.

  • Michele Norman

    Thanks Quninette – wishing you, Nessa and all the best in next round!!