ROUND ONE: 6-upended vs. 11-junto

r1f2 6-upended vs. 11-junto

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:

Chain Reaction
by Suz Blackaby

Peace and quiet is disrupted when our kitty on a whim
picks a quarrel with the golden and then runs away from him.

The old golden chases kitty but she takes evasive action,
and he tries to vault the sofa but the hardwood has no traction

so he can’t quite stick the landing in the way that he intended,
and the upshot, in a nutshell? An end table is upended,

which then sends a Chinese vase and fishbowl crashing to the ground!
(The vase we patched with superglue, the fish was never found.)


Ben Hangin’ With His Junto
by Deborah Holt Williams

Ben Franklin was a printer, an inventor and a wit.
He loved discussing issues in a tavern where he’d sit

With eleven friends, his junto, to moralize and sip.
“A penny saved’s a penny earned!” Ben never left a tip.

Begun in 1727, they met each Friday night,
Until the tavern staff suggested Ben go fly a kite.


Public Vote (6-upended vs. 11-junto)
Final Results:
6-upended vs. 11-junto

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
6-upended vs. 11-junto
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
6-upended vs. 11-junto

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  • Dave Crawley

    Having both a cat and golden retriever, I appreciate the sentiments in Suz’s poem. And having just read a biography of Ben Frankllin, I can vouch for the light hearted accuracy in Deborah’s lines.

    • Mother Streusel

      My mother and I were wondering if it were true about Ben. Too funny!!

  • Linda Baie

    Very funny in Suz’s poem, tongue-in-cheek for Deb’s! Good wordplay both of you!

  • Catherine

    Funny endings on both, love these!

  • Marileta Robinson

    These are both wonderful!

  • pennyklostermann

    Great job, you two. Very hard choice! Wish you could both move on!

  • Damon Dean

    Suz…definitely the kitten is a suspect. LOVED this as it made my heart race faster line by line.
    And Deborah, I can see history more clearly now–Ben’s success was based on social networking!
    (I need to visit the coffeeshop as often as facebook, maybe…)

  • Mother Streusel

    Having read some of last year’s poems, I have been anticipating Suz’s poem with excitement. Her craftsmanship is really incredible. I felt sorry for whoever was pitted against her….that being said, Deborah’s poem proves she is a worthy opponent. Exceptional! This is one of my favorite match ups by far!!!

    • deborahhwilliams

      Thanks for all the kind words!

      • Mother Streusel

        You deserve them.

  • Julie Larios

    This was the hardest choice for me in Round One. Well done to both of you!

  • Bonnie Bailey

    Deborah, that was tough. You managed to use a darn near impossible word and teach me something. Nicely done.

  • Bonnie Bailey

    Suz, that poor fish! :) You really brought the whole scene to life.

  • Tabatha

    Tough decision!

  • Debra Shumaker

    Wow! These are both too good! How to pick one is the question. Great job Suz and Debbie.

  • julie krantz

    Two delightful stories/poems!

  • Jackie Wellington

    I love both of these poems. I am not saying which one got my vote; all I am saying is, I had to read each poem three times before voting. I love anything written about Benjamin Franklin. It is the nonfiction picture book writer in me. Great job, all. Thanks for delivering a fun read.

  • Carrie Finison

    These are both so good, it’s a shame to have to decide between them.

  • Susan Blackaby

    Way to rock the vote, Deborah, to say nothing of the CCS with the word ‘junto,’ the social studies link, and the nod to science! Onward!

    • deborahhwilliams

      And, it can be sung to the tune of Gilligan’s Island! ;-) Thanks, Suz, yours was so much fun to read aloud, going faster and faster–I could just picture the chaos!

  • Quinette Cook

    These are both so cleaver. I just realized that I missed voting on these. Duh. (I’m glad I didn’t have to choose.)