ROUND ONE: 7-chisel vs. 10-hubris


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:

7-chisel
The Rock
By Catherine Johnson

Mama gave me a rock.
Now sandpaper smiles don’t buff me up.

I’m boulder as I skim the water.
I whittle away time in the brook.
I polish my rock to a shine.

I chisel a new adventure every day,
hewn out of mama’s love.

vs.

10-hubris
The Moment Jonas Salk Decided to Stop Polio
By Liz Steinglass

Was it hubris to say I can?
I can stop this scourge, which arrests the lives of 20,000 every year.
I can isolate this germ, defuse it, reuse it to teach the human body
To purge this plague from the earth.
Was it hubris?
Or was it the first step?

 




7-chisel vs. 10-hubris: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 7-chisel (Catherine Johnson) (49%, 83 Votes)
  • 10-hubris (Liz Steinglass) (51%, 89 Votes)

Total Voters: 171

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

    Ooh, a matchup between two talented ladies! Lots of good rhymes for CHISEL, but HUBRIS would give me pause…

  • http://www.lizsteinglass.com/ Liz

    According to rhymezone there are no words that rhyme with hubris… I’m guessing Ed knew that.

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

    Ah, but you don’t need to end rhyme with hubris, and the word itself is so useful and interesting, I’m sure you’ll crack the poetry code …

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

    Now I feel bad for having an easy rhyming word and choosing not to rhyme. I love the words chisel and hubris.

  • http://www.lizsteinglass.com/ Liz

    I did find some good end-rhymes but I decided not to use them…

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

    Good luck, ladies!

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

    Ooh, chisel sounds fun. Hubris, what??!

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

    I really like both of these words and both of these “quiet” poems – and you both wrote free verse! Well done, ladies! You’ve made this very difficult…

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

    Again, I agree Renee. I’m glad that both poems were in free verse, perhaps leveling the playing field. That said, it was a difficult choice – I felt like I was stuck between a rock and a plague.

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

    Oh very funny, Quinette!

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

    Both such thoughtful poems. I very much enjoyed them and have a feeling I’ll be thinking about them later today too.

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

    Both your poems made me slow down and read again. Nicely done!

  • http://www.mattforrest.com Matt Forrest

    This is one of the more difficult matchups to vote on so far!

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

    It’s lovely to hear that our poems will be remembered, thank you! Liz yours is great!

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

    You ladies did yourselves proud! Nice work and tough to call!

  • http://www.dorainebennett.com Doraine Bennett

    This was the too hard to decide. I may have to come back again.

  • http://susantaylorbrown.com Susan Taylor Brown

    Yes, stuck between a rock and a hard spot here. Two lovely, and as someone said, quiet poems and I love that they are matched up against each other, even if it makes it hard to choose.

  • http://www.lizsteinglass.com/ Liz

    You too, Catherine. I think we both succeeded.

  • Carrie Finison

    Two lovely poems = one tough choice.

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

    Difficult choice! So well matched in style and thought.

  • Pamela

    I’m going to echo the sentiments of everyone here. This is truly a difficult one. One full of quiet imagery, the other full of quiet strength. Hubris, I knewbris it would be profound. Both very good.

  • http://katswhiskers.wordpress.com KatApel

    I agree! Both of these poems offer so much. They sneak up on you! I have read and re-read them both many times, being moved by different things each time. Great work, ladies.

  • http://www.laurasalas.com laurasalas

    These are wonderful. The beauty/emotion of Catherine’s vs. the strong language/nonfiction aspect of Liz’. Oi.

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

    Mmmm…. Yes, both of these are so thoughtful. And nuances emerge when re-reading, as others have noted. Love this match-up.

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

    Congrats to you both! Tight race …

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

    Thanks, Ed!