ROUND THREE: 6-involuntary vs. 15-rationalize


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-involuntary
Astronomical Tide
By Cheryl Lawton Malone

Restless waves can build a shore
if they so decide.
Pushing sand from the sea floor.
Pulling rocks not there before.
Spreading seashells by the score.
Their voluntary side

Waves possessed by Mother Moon
must obey the urge.
Crashing over roads at noon.
Bashing cliffs with friend Monsoon.
Smashing into wall and dune.
Involuntary surge

vs.

15-rationalize
Clean out of Reason
By J. J. Close

My mother just told me my room is a mess,
Implying that maybe I’d clean it, I guess.
I say it’s okay and that she shouldn’t stew,
I’ll clean it today, yes, that’s what I’ll do!

But as soon as she leaves, I hop on my chair,
I roll up my sleeves; at the TV I stare.
I grab the controls to my fantasy game,
Completing the goals, I find fantasy fame.

My make-believe house is running quite fine,
My make-believe spouse has a knack for design.
In the game my room’s clean, and it’s easy, you see,
I hit blue and green, then it cleans it for me!

So, I rationalize my room’s awful mess,
As I look the room over for buttons to press!
But it could be, just might be, yes, probably be.
That my room will have to be cleaned up by me!

 




6-involuntary vs. 15-rationalize: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 6-involuntary (Cheryl Lawton Malone) (61%, 216 Votes)
  • 15-rationalize (J. J. Close) (39%, 139 Votes)

Total Voters: 354

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Browse other matchups using the slider below and click to go straight to that matchup!

  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
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  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
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  • angie breault

    Boy I’m having a hard time making decisions today! Great job you guys!

  • http://www.authoramok.com Laura Shovan

    Another tough match-up. Great science poem Cheryl. J.J. — have you been to my house?

  • http://ThinkKidThink Jinx Meshnick

    As a teacher I KNOW the children will identify and enjoy this one. Clever and witty!

  • Josh Close

    Laura, I think maybe it might be experience in my case. :)

    If only there were a button for cleaning a room…

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

    Josh, your poem has lots of kid appeal for sure. Cheryl, I love your rhyme scheme and lovely language. Well done!

  • http://www.lindaboyden.com Linda Boyden

    Lyrical vs. Hysterical? Hard choice!

  • Emily schuh

    Go Josh!!!

  • http://thinkkidthink amber litchfield

    GO JOSHY I KNOW U CAN DO THIS!!
    i trust faith in u i trust u lets go,
    ;)

  • Josh Close

    haha girls, thank you!

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

    Cheryl,you definitely captured your title in your poem. I can feel the push-pull. Josh, kids will be looking for a button and trying to ignore the last two lines! Kids…who am I fooling. I want a button!

  • Carrie Finison

    Cheryl, your poem is quite lovely. Josh, your poem left me smiling. How to decide?

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

    Loved the way you showed constructive/destructive forces of waves, Cheryl. And Josh, another kid-pleaser from you.

  • Jacob Z

    Josh, if all the 4th graders get on and vote for you, you’ll win. GO JOSH! GO JOSH! GO JOSH! You’ll go on to the next round

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

      Hi Jacob — I appreciate your enthusiasm, though please keep in mind that this is not a popularity contest. Please read both poems and vote your favorite. If that means Josh’s, great, go for it, but the purpose of this event is not to rally votes for one authlete or the other without regard for the poems. Thanks! And be sure to check out all of the other matchups, too. Some great poems — some funny, some serious, some somewhere in between — and I’m sure the other poets would love for you and other 4th graders to read them.

  • Adam Carter

    Aren’t these supposed to be poems for children? I love Cheryl’s writing and it would have my vote–just not for a competition in which the poems are aimed at younger people.

    Great work by both of you!

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

      Thanks for your comment, Adam. The general age target for #MMPoetry poems is somewhere within the age 7-15 range. A particular poem might be most appropriate for 7-9 year olds while another might be most (only?) appropriate for 13-15 year olds. If an authlete feels that the content of their poem is for younger (<=6) or older (16+) ages, they are asked to indicate that upon submission so that the poem will be flagged as such. Ultimately, it is left to voters to decide whether they think an authlete met the terms of the challenge or not.

  • Zach S

    Hi Josh it’s me Zach from fourth grade.

  • Zach S

    Also Josh I voted for you.

  • Zach S

    I saw your comment Emily I also like it.

  • Josh Close

    Well, looks like I need more kids voters… or I should have gone with an adult version of this poem :/

    But, I can’t let the kids down that DO support me – so I’ll go with the kids one even if it means losing.

    Thank you Jacob and Zach!

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

    I loved the ebb and flow of Cheryl’s poem. Long and short lines. A real rhythm. And J.j.’s poem rings true no matter what age you are (he must have seen my studio).

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

    Josh, your poem was right on track(ball). If only there were buttons to push!
    Great to help kids face the non-reality of game zoning.

    Cheryl, great view of the tide as dependent/independent forces…this could accompany a science lesson, blend lit with sci/math, and challenge kids to think, kids, think. (Hmm…where have I heard that phrase before?)

  • http://www.allanwolf.com Allan Wolf

    Not to open up a can o’ worms about what is a “kids” poem, but the way I see it poetry, like music, exists on a wide spectrum with infinite possibilities that appeal to the infinite hearts and minds of the readers. My 11-year-old daughter prefers Mozart to Bach. That doesn’t keep her from liking Pink or Fun. My 11-year-old daughter can recite a dozen Shel Silverstein poems. And Robert Frost. And Langston Hughes. And Emily Dickinson. When it comes to categorizing literature, grown-ups think too much. All I really wanted to say, was that Cheryl’s poem feels like the surf. It sounds like the surf. It rhymes like the surf. The meter (gasp) even scans like the surf. So it must be the surf. I like the surf. Now lets eat a few more of Eric Ode’s cookies.

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

    GO GO JOSHY WOSHY! I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS! Ahhh, I love being a kid xD

  • Adam Carter

    Thanks for the clarification!

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

    What Allan said.

  • Josh Close

    So you’re telling me that a lot of kids will vote for the waves over video games and not cleaning their room?

    I’ve learned something about poetry today.

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

      Sure, they might.

      I don’t think anyone doubts that kids have an affinity for funny poems about the objects and experiences of everyday life. But just because Cheryl’s poem has general/adult appeal does not mean that it is inappropriate for or incomprehensible to kids.

      There are a lot of excellent kids’ poetry books out there that are not funny at all, but those like Kate Coombs’ Water Sings Blue or Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s new Forest Has A Song still have massive kid appeal, despite also being excellent general audience poetry.

  • http://www.allanwolf.com Allan Wolf

    @ Josh Close. What I mean to say is that I personally like waves and I personally like video games. And in my personal opinion poetry is vast enough to accommodate both. (I also never make my bed and never, ever, ever clean my room.) My personal opinion is that a poem’s content alone does not determine whether it is a “kids poem” or not.

  • P

    Not gonna lie. When I was in the “target” age range. I would have no clue what the first poem was talking about. That is not to say it isn’t a “kid poem” or that it isn’t a good poem. I believe it is a good poem and in the opinion of people it may or may not be a “kid poem” but that choice lies with the person reading it. But all in all I think they are both good poems. Great job to both competitors.

  • Josh Close

    I understand what you both are saying. I do not believe my poem to be better than Cheryl’s – I really cannot be the judge of that, because I wrote one. I don’t know how others perceive my poem.

    I DO however know how adults will perceive each of these poems. As an ADULT voter, I might vote for Cheryl’s. However, I am personally partial to children’s themes.

    I do not mean to cause any stir here, but over the last few hours I’ve taken small polls in a 3rd grade class (8-9 year olds), a 6th grade class(11-12 year olds, and an 8th grade class (14-15 year olds). I anonymously put each poem on a paper to be voted on. I took out names, leaving only titles. They had no knowledge of this tournament or that I even wrote one of them. Some of them know me, some dont.

    These are the results I received.

    3rd grade – 15-2 preferring “Clean out of Reason”
    6th grade – 24-0 preferring “Clean out of Reason”
    8th grade – 17-6 preferring “Clean out of Reason”

    I do not mean to demean Cheryl’s poem, it is great – but in my honest opinion, does it fit with the purpose of this tournament? Isn’t the point to get kids interested in poetry? I know it’s a small sample size, but it’s pretty clear to me what the preference is. It’s 3 different age groups, representing nearly each category of target audience for the poems in the tournament. One reason I’ve noticed over my short venture in kids poetry for kids not being interested in poetry is the content. You, as adults, might LOVE Cheryl’s poem. But kids, as kids, consider nonfiction to be boring – whether it’s in poetry or not.

    Delete this post if you need to, Ed. I’m just trying to make a point. It’s frustrating knowing I could have submitted a more adult friendly poem and probably got more votes, but I’d never do that… because it would be boring to children and they’d lose interest in it.

  • Jeanne Walbrun

    Cheryl wrote a very good poem, but Josh wrote a very good “children’s” poem.
    I don’t understand why more voters aren’t making that distinction. Go J.J. – you have a bright future in poetry ahead of you. Keep inspiring those young poets!

  • Alvaro

    I think this same argument can be copy and pasted on my match up. Not that I agree with the posts – it’s just an interesting difference in style.

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

    If young people find poetry through humor, that’s wonderful. This competition is good for so many reasons – introducing kids to the fun of poetry is just one of them. But poetry can be serious too. I know young people who write poetry to help them overcome difficulties in their lives.

    I look at this competition as an opportunity (and responsibility) for us to expose (young) people to a myriad of themes, poetic forms and ideas. I took a risk with my poem “Couch Hopper” and wrote for an older audience (teen), used an unfamiliar form (at least in terms of the competition), did not rhyme and choose a serious topic. I’ll probably get “kicked to the curb” by the “teacher’s pet,” (David, your poem is excellent) but it was worth it to expose readers to something new.

    Both poems are worthy entries and important to our audience (young and old) despite the voting results.
    Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  • Josh Close

    And you’re winning your matchup by 11 votes. This is hard to comprehend for me.

    In one match up, the children’s poem is winning. In another, it is losing.

  • Josh Close

    Previous post in reference to Alvaro’s comment

  • P

    You got those results because you asked children. Honestly, your never gonna get a good feel for what children poem children like unless you ask them. Frankly, doing an online competition like this you are bound to see more adult voters than children. But, that is a given that should have been accounted for JJ.

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

    Wow. Can’t believe how serious my last post was (above).

    Just so you know,
    I like funny, really I do.
    Zombies and vampires,
    boogers, and poo!

    Wait, I don’t think there have been any booger poems. Dang, I should have paired that up with mooch.

  • Forrest

    Just throwing this out there,

    I’m 19 and if I was a kid, I’d have no idea what monsoon meant and I’d be more inclined to the second poem because its funny – kids like funny.

  • Josh Close

    @ P

    That’s exactly my point. I know why I’m losing by so many votes, that’s not what I was concerned with.

    I was just under the impression that we are supposed to use our word with the intent of an audience of 7-15 year olds reading and voting. That is Eds goal from this whole thing, is it not? To create interest in poetry for those ages in particular? By the time a person reaches adulthood, they either enjoy poetry or they don’t. But that person needs the exposure to poetry before they discover whether they are going to enjoy it into adulthood or not.

    It’s wonderful that people see the beauty of Cheryl’s poem, that’s great. However, children will not see that beauty the same way. Children respond more to what they relate to and poetry that they understand. I’m not saying every child won’t understand Cheryl’s poem, but personally, I feel that most wont.

  • Peter

    I have been an upper elementary teacher for 12 years. I would not expect my students to understand the most complicated scientific concepts without first getting them excited about science by grabbing their attention with a fun demonstration. When teaching poetry, I have always taken the approach of exposure in the beginning. A teacher must pull students in with poems that interest them and that they can relate to within their lives. Only then can the details of the structure be broken down and examined. I’m not sure if that is the goal of this website or not. If it is, then in order to vote a person must understand that. If not, the validity of data from the votes is in question. I have been using this website to help expose my students to various poems. The poems that are getting them to write, are the ones they can relate to and ultimately become intrinsically motivated. JJ and MM Socks did just that. Thank you guys. Sorry to some of the others but I fear you are missing the boat.

  • Marileta Robinson

    Anna Boll won round 1 with a great booger poem.

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

    Josh wrote:
    “But kids, as kids, consider nonfiction to be boring – whether it’s in poetry or not.”

    Yikes! I couldn’t disagree more. Many, many kids are fascinated with the world around them. And poetry is a wonderful way to enrich a child’s understanding of that world. If I were I science teacher introducing a unit on tides, I would love to include Cheryl’s poem. And use it as a model to encourage kids to write their own at the end of the unit.

    This in no way suggests that kids wouldn’t enjoy your poem, too, Josh. But I would hate to think that we assume kids can only enjoy funny poems that center on their day-to-day lives.

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

    It’s my hope (and attempt, when visiting in schools) that kids will be exposed to all kinds of poetry – both the lyrical and evocative, and humorous offerings as well. It would be a sad thing to forego sharing the former because the latter is perhaps more accessible/familiar. Kids will definitely enjoy Josh’s poem, and I think that’s great. I also think they will enjoy Cheryl’s, even while it stretches them. Lingering over and discussing poems like this might just open a door for some students.

  • http://katswhiskers.wordpress.com KatApel

    I think the other aspect is that while kids as stand-alone readers might not immediately ‘get’ some of the more serious concept poems, these poems make excellent vehicles to introduce/enhance a topic study/analysis. So whilst kids may instantly love a humorous poem, that doesn’t meant that they won’t learn to ‘read’ (heart and mind) a serious poem. Learn to love that serious poem – and appreciate it more than the funny poem. They just may need to be taught the appreciation. I heart the different concept poems I’ve been reading in this competition – and their wonderful rich and innovative scope for classroom use! They open so many mind-doors with their creativity!

    But I love a good funny poem too!

    Don’t over-think the competition. There are so many variables. And so many awesome poets/poems who’ve been knocked out before you. Losing a round doesn’t devalue YOU as a poet. Think of all you’ve won by taking part thus far.

  • Josh Close

    I didn’t mean it like that Buffy – there are definitely exciting aspects of nonfiction. There are kids that cling to that type of stuff more than others.

    However, from my experience – though I’m only 22 years old, students I’ve been around are more turned off by that type of thing. It may be that it grows on them after a while, that’s great. But if the intention of this tournament is to get kids interested in poetry, nearly every student I’ve shown these two poems to have said the same things. The vocabulary in poetry is great, but kids aren’t familiar with most of it and that itself is a turn off to kids. As a kid, I don’t want to read a poem that I don’t understand. Again, nothing against Cheryl’s poem – after reading it again and again, I’ve understood it more and more. That’s just it… what turns kids away from poetry is the fact that they need to sit and try to comprehend it. We can shove poetry in their faces as much as we want, but that’s not going to make them like it. They need to connect with it and understand it.

    Like you said, it would work well in a science lesson on tides… but out of context, kids aren’t going to understand it.

    Just my 2cents. I don’t mean to cause arguments, I just want understanding.

    Sorry if I come off the wrong way.

  • Josh Close

    Keep in mind, losing doesn’t bother me. That’s not it at all. I don’t feel devalued as a poet. I have quite a bit of support from kids of all ages in my community, that’s all that matters to me. The important thing is that I change those students opinion of poetry – and I feel like I’ve done that the last few years. From my experience, students are turned off by poems filled with words they don’t know and meanings they don’t understand. I know I’ve always been. I’ve done what I can to take my words that I receive and wrap a poem around it so kids want to know what that word means. They enjoy the poem, they learn in the process.

  • Jacob Z

    ALL MONDOVI KIDS GET ON AND VOTE FOR JOSH. GO JOSH! GO JOSH! GO JOSH!

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

    Copy/pasting from the Authlete Instructions page

    *Poems should be appropriate for kids aged 7 to 15.
    *Authletes: If your poem is geared to a younger (0-6) or older (16-18) age group, indicated this in your submission e-mail and the poem will be flagged as such.

    Copy/pasting from above:

    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.

    My additional thoughts …

    There are lots of reasons why voters select one poem or another. The above bullets are only some of them. Everyone has their personal preferences, purposes, and affiliations that undoubtedly impact their choice, as evidenced by the comments above and by the votes recorded.

    This competition is about exposing high-quality poetry to more kids around the world. That does not necessarily mean catering to kids’ tastes by presenting subjects or styles that they already like. It means putting the best words in the best order that together depict interesting images, create compelling connections, or touch particular emotions. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT POETRY — it can mean anything to anyone. It can mean something different to the same person one day to the next. It can mean two conflicting things to someone at the same time.

    Are kids excepted from this? In the context of poetry or in any other context? No way. If I ask 30 kids right now what they would rather eat, a chocolate donut (“kid food”) or a piece of spicy vegetable lasagna (“adult food”), the vote might well be 26-4 in favor of the donut. They kinda like both, but a donut’s a donut, so hand it over. But what if I then immediately offer them the same choice again, second donut or spicy vegetable lasagna? Let’s say it goes 18-12 in favor of donut. Let’s keep going: third donut or spicy vegetable lasagna? 11-19 … lasagna now sounding a bit better, no?

    Now, back to poetry. It’s a mistake to think that each contest is evaluated in isolation. In addition to all of the above guidelines and the aforementioned preferences, purposes, and affiliations, you are also competing for attention/emotion with what the reader is thinking RIGHT NOW and, in the context of this contest, with the other poems a voter has recently read as well. There are some pretty darn funny poems in this round. Marcus Ewert’s blood-lapping vampire, Sam Kent’s foodie zombie, Tiffany Strelitz Haber’s “supercalifra-delicious” meal? Donut, donut, donut. So maybe by the time a reader got to “Clean out of Reason”, they just didn’t want any more donuts. Or maybe they still wanted a donut but it just didn’t taste right to them. Or maybe they liked Cheryl’s particular blend of spices and vegetables, or the way she layered her lasagna, or maybe it just filled them up in a way that another donut never could, and even though they wished they could eat donuts all day every day, something just kinda told ‘em that THIS time, they should just sit down quietly and eat a freaking healthy dinner for once in their life.

    Bottom line is that both poems are readable and interpretable by kids in some way. Change out the voter population and, sure, maybe the result is different. Force every voter to read the poem a dozen times instead of once and maybe the result is different again. Only allow each voter to read the poems after a moment of laughter with friends, or an experience of failure, and the result might be different again and again.

    I am willing to get into the specifics of these two poems and my personal opinions and choices if anyone feels that it would help the discussion.

    Otherwise, I ask only that people remain respectful (and I don’t think anyone has crossed the line as of yet) of each other and both authletes’ poems, and continue the discussion, which I think is worthwhile.

    -Ed

  • mondovi 5th grader

    Hey Josh I voted for you. Also You ROCK!!!!!–

  • Jacob Z

    Hey Ed, I just want say that I just read different poems and voted on them too.

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

      Cool. Thanks, Jacob!

      • Zach S

        Me to Ed.

  • Zach S

    Every one vote for J.J.close.

  • Josh Close

    I’ll post my other poem here as well, for the adult voters – might appreciate this one more. Still humor in it.

    I woke up this morning and walked down the stairs,
    And noticed a few things are needing repairs.
    The living room sofa is bent out of shape
    The dining room table is asking for tape.
    The door on the heater is coming undone
    The fridge and the freezer both struggle to run.
    The washer and dryer are both on the fritz,
    The stove and the fryer are calling it quits.
    I think that the sink may have sprayed its last spray,
    And the flush full of rust isn’t working today.
    So I shut both my eyes and pretend that I’m dreaming,
    I rationalize while I start into scheming
    I could take out tools and fix it alone,
    Or break my own rules and pick up the phone.
    I’d wake up my husband; yes that’s what I’d do,
    But unlucky for me, I think he’s broken too!

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

    Children are both funny and serious; like adults, they are interested in and tickled by jokes and facts and majesty too. Poetry is a way for us to explore all of life’s corners: the beauty of language, a joyful giggle, surprise, wonder. It would be a sad day if poets began believing that there was only one kind of good “child poem”. Bring ‘em all on…that’s what I say!

  • Josh Close

    And btw Ed, great analogy – you are quite good at those!

    However, without the donut – whose to say that a child would ever notice the healthy dinner and what it truly has to offer? The way I see, the donut brings them in – maybe it’s not the healthiest… just like certain poetry may not be as teachable.

    If you take away the donut, actually I don’t really like donuts, let’s say candy.

    If you take away the candy, and just show kids the healthier alternative… they’ll likely be unhappy about it.

    Adults eat a certain amount of candy/donuts and get sick of it… children eat a certain amount of candy/donuts and get sick FROM it, but they’re happy to still eat candy after. (at this point, I’m starting to wonder if I’m talking about poetry or candy) If you take away the candy (fun, appealing to kids poetry) they’ll be more apt to not respond or even wish to understand/comprehend the deeper stuff.

    So, my point is. (Ignoring all aspects of this tournament, this is just meant for discussion on poetry in general – what most of it has truly been for me) If you take away the fun poetry, you’re essentially taking away the motivation for kids to enjoy poetry and to learn to enjoy the stuff that needs more attention for understanding. Kids simply do not connect to poems that are filled with words and terms that they don’t understand or never have even heard of – that’s fact. I don’t see how anyone can say it isn’t. It is true that SOME kids (probably mostly older) understand these terms, thus understand these poems better.

  • Josh Close

    Amy, I don’t believe there is one kind of children’s poetry.

    I believe that there is one kind that triggers the others.

    I GUARANTEE that a majority of kids will choose to read the fun, humorous, relatable poems over the more serious ones. THAT’s what gets them into poetry.

  • Jacob Z

    Josh even if you lost it’s just the way life goes sometimes. We all have a path and God chooses it and this is what he chose. Good luck next time Josh.

  • Marileta Robinson

    Cheryl, congratulations on your evocative poem. I’m looking forward to seeing what we both come up with in Round 4!

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

    Passion. That’s what this match-up was all about. Heck, that’s what this whole enchilada is about. Good luck Cheryl.

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

    First of all, I want to thank and congratulate Josh for contributing three funny poems to #MMPoetry 2013. His first round poem using 15-meretricious was seriously EXCELLENT and among my favorites of the whole event (thought I do admit I’ve had a lot of favorites this year!).

    I also want to congratulate Cheryl for reaching the Elite Eight! I enjoyed “Astronomical Tide” and I personally think that, while not kiddish, it does have kid appeal both intellectually and emotionally. The contrast of voluntary vs. involuntary and stark change in language used to describe each from first to second stanza is striking, and I think something that many kids would notice and appreciate on some level.

    Now, to round out my thoughts from earlier, in response to the newest comments …

    I’m pretty sure that no one here is suggesting taking away funny poetry, nor does anyone doubt that funny poetry about kids’ daily lives is wonderfully effective at introducing kids to poetry and holding their interest. I write mostly funny poetry because that’s how I think about life and that’s how I myself usually relate to kids. And we don’t have to look very far to see how funny poems can bring kids into the genre — look at #MMPoetry authlete Gloson Teh. He’s 15 years old, writes funny poetry, has already published two books, and cites Kenn Nesbitt’s http://www.poetry4kids.com as his inspiration for starting writing. Funny poetry has a HUGE place in this world, and it is here to stay!

    But recognizing the value of funny poetry does NOT negate the opposing point of view, which is that serious, passionate, emotional, or thoughtful poetry can ALSO be THE primary gateway for many kids into poetry. No majority vote or survey in the world can prove or disprove this, because each kid must be considered as an individual.

    It is the quality of poetry to which kids are exposed, not the style or content, that will make the difference between them rejecting or adopting the genre.

    If anyone doubts the value, relevance, or kid appeal of non-humorous poetry, visit your favorite online retailer and buy Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s book Forest Has A Song. When it arrives, open the package and turn straight to the spread on pages 18-19 and read the poems “Moss” and “Bone Pile”. Those two poems alone could turn a young kid onto poetry for life. Just read those two poems … then we’ll be on the same page.

    -Ed

  • http://thinkkidthink amber litchfield

    hey josh im so sorry that you lost this round, better luck next time josh, i voted for you!! sorry.

  • http://thinkkidthink amber litchfield

    next time i will go to all the computers in the world next time!!! i will make sure that you win next time, promis my sole.

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

    Congratulations, Cheryl! See you in the next round! :)

  • J. J. Close

    Congratulations, Cheryl! Thanks for all of the support, 4th graders!

  • J. J. Close

    And 5th graders!

  • MeP

    #6-Involuntary loved the flow while reading it! hope it makes it to the next round.