ROUND ONE: 6-tutorial vs. 11-artifice


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’d 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.
  • In the Public Vote, anyone may vote, but only one vote is allowed per IP address.
  • In the Classroom Vote, you must be registered and logged in to vote.
    • Official voting classrooms should read and discuss each poem and then submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.
  • In the Authlete Vote, you must be a 2015 authlete and logged in to vote.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
  • Whether or not the poem adheres to the poem requirements for the contest.
  • Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
  • Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
  • Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
  • Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.

Apply your own criteria as well! For more on the above concepts, check out POEMETRICS™.

Here are the poems:


6-tutorial what does it mean?
By Suzy Levinson

If a toucan can cancan down south in Cancun
and a bass at a bus stop can blast his bassoon
so a chivalrous shrimp with a limp and a chimp
can try out some fried trout on a trip in a blimp
that was gnashed by a gnat as a gnu gave a newt
a tutorial twofer of tuba and flute
with those llamas in saunas that yammered ’til noon…
then there’s no reason why I can’t fly to the moon.



11-artifice what does it mean?
A Poet’s Lament
By Julie Krantz

sometimes words are dancers, they leap and twist and bound,
other times they’re cannonballs, whose meaning weighs you down.

though I’m not a connoisseur of rhythm, voice or rhyme,
of this one thing I’m certain, about words, both yours and mine—

significance is personal, despite the speaker’s thrust.
poets aren’t infallible, your instincts you must trust.

to overlook this simple rule would surely be remiss,
because truth is what you make of it—and art is often artifice.


Public Vote (6-tutorial vs. 11-artifice)
Final Results:
6-tutorial vs. 11-artifice

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
6-tutorial vs. 11-artifice
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
6-tutorial vs. 11-artifice

Note: The poem for 11-artifice was late by one hour, so the Public Vote starts at +10 in favor of 6-tutorial.

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  • Amelia Shearer

    WOW! I love both of these so much for such different (yet probably similar) reasons! :-) Both use language in such an artful, creative way, and as a lover of words, I just can’t choose a favorite here!! I’ll have to come back to this one – great (and difficult!) matchup, ladies!

  • deborahhwilliams

    Suzy’s is so silly and fun, and Julie’s is so meaningful…difficult choice!

  • Renee LaTulippe

    Two very different poems with lots to like in each. I enjoyed the wordplay and playfulness of Suzy’s and the lovely mood and message of Julie’s. Well done, ladies!

  • lillpluta

    Two very different and excellent poems. I enjoyed them both.

  • Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    Gosh, what to do? These two are both so good in different ways. I’ll have to think about it.

  • Ed DeCaria

    I loved both of these. Shame one of you had to lose here. Julie, thank you. Suzy, your ridiculous (in a good way) run-on sentence is running you right into Round Two — Congrats!

    • Suzy Levinson

      woohoo – big thanks to all who voted for me! good game, Julie!

      • julie krantz

        Thanks for the kind words, everyone. And best of luck to you in Round Two, Suzy!

  • Damon Dean

    Congratulations Suzy! You had a powerful poet opponent in Julie.

    • Suzy Levinson

      that i did! Julie’s poem is amazing. thanks, Damon! :)

    • julie krantz

      Thanks Damon and Suzy!