ROUND ONE: 7-interlock vs. 10-elongated


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-interlock
Mash-Up
By Marcus Ewert

I am a jigsaw puzzle piece:
A corner-piece, with sky;
My best friend’s from a different box –
His puzzle shows a pie.

My cloudy face, his rhubarb one –
Compounded, they’re a shock;
We don’t belong together, but…
Our centers interlock.

vs.

10-elongated
Homework
By Jim Hill

“By Pinocchio’s elongated schnoz!”
Cursed the teacher while calling my bluff,
Excuse five thousand and four – by her count the last straw –
It seems finally, enough is enough.
The dog ate it. I have gout. My computer’s offline.
Even I can’t believe what I’ve said.
It’s becoming a chore making up more and more.
Should I try doing this stuff instead?

 




7-interlock vs. 10-elongated

  • 7-interlock (Marcus Ewert) (62%, 161 Votes)
  • 10-elongated (Jim Hill) (38%, 100 Votes)

Total Voters: 261

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  • Cara Slavens

    A pastry-themed superhero?!!! Marcus, I can’t wait!

    • Marcus Ewert

      Thank you, darlin’!

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

    Crazy words. Crazy.

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

    That was my hardest choice so far. The puzzle one is just perfectly executed and Jim yours is so fun! Well done both.

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

    A couple of fun ones – tough decision!

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

    Well played gentlemen.

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

    Nice humor in both of these. And who would have thought of writing from the POV of a puzzle piece? Very cool.

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

    Yeesh, you guys! Well done on both sides. A jigsaw puzzle, though. That’s pretty neat.

  • Susan Prutzman

    Love the creative competition. Both poems are a delight. I vote for 7 Interlock – Marcus Ewert.

  • http://deborahholtwilliams.blogspot.com Deborah Holt Williams

    “By Pinocchio’s elongated schnoz!” is my new favorite curse. (Could be a good name for a rock band, too.) Both puzzles are perfection!

  • Heidi Mordhorst

    What I love is a certain tenderness of feeling that you don’t often hear from boys–and yet I feel like the voice in Marcus’s is definitely boy. Nice one.

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

    This was so hard – great job guys!

  • http://heyjimhill.com Jim Hill

    Thanks, Deborah. It might slip into my everyday use too.

  • http://heyjimhill.com Jim Hill

    Thanks, everybody. Marcus’ poem is wonderful. Even I hard a hard time voting.

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

    Now this is another strong pairing. I’ve taken longer than usual to decide, but I have to pick Marcus, if only for his perfect meter. Sorry Jim – still really your poem! … and I just read it again and liked it even more.

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

    Isn’t it perfect when you find the piece who fits your life? And how could I not relate to that teacher?!?!

  • Marcus Ewert

    Like Jim, I wanna say thanks for the kind words, folks!

    Jim and I are Facebook friends, and we were bonding a bit pre-competition, though post-finding out that we were paired against each other this round.
    I told Jim my motto for my participation in MMP’13: “Just don’t humiliate yourself.”
    Jim had a very similar sentiment, though I’m forgetting the exact mantra at the moment.
    Anyway, suffice it to say, I think neither of us has humiliated himself this round – so, yay!

    And as I was also saying to Jim: All of us athletes shall dine together in VALHALLA yet!

    (VALHALLA would be a pretty kick-butt seed word, by the way…)

    ~Marcus

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

    Yeah, just doing the homework is probably easier. But I do this stuff too – about my own work! Love that idea of two pieces from different puzzles finding each other – I could happily read more of that story….

  • JulieJulie

    This one is tough but Marcus’ gets my vote. Tough one but I love Marcus! I’m a new found fan!

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

    Another tough one. Well done, gentlemen. Gotta say “A corner-piece, with sky” won me over…!

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

    loved the two puzzle pieces “connecting”!

  • Lori Modzierz

    Both have such merit, gentlemen!!

  • Janet F.

    Congratulations Marcus, I really like your poem and it is one I can see myself wanting to re-read. Jim, as a teacher I can so relate to trying to get kids to see that homework needn’t take 1 hour if you just got down to brass tacks and did the work posthaste!!! So you can practice in school so they can see what it is like. The get a drink, take a break, eat a snack, sharpen a pencil, complain, repeat and complain some more and voila, it is taking an hour. Your poem struck a chord!!