ROUND ONE: 7-pimpled vs. 10-pummeled

[click image to view matchup in full screen in a new window.]

The Poets’ Challenge: Each poet is assigned a single word based on their bracket seed, ranging from 1 (intuitive) to 16 (seemingly impossible). Poets must write a kid-appropriate poem using the prompted word in under 36 hours. Once both final poems have been received, they will be pasted into the body of this post, and then the reader poll will be open for voting.

Voter Instructions: Read each poem as many times as you’d like. Then use the poll to express your preference. Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered. As a guideline for voting, consider the criteria on which the contestants on the cooking show “Chopped” are evaluated: presentation, taste, and creativity. Translated roughly into poetry terms, presentation might include technical aspects such as meter, rhyme, form/shape, etc.; taste might be the net effect — did the poem move you to laugh, cry, think, kill, etc.; and creativity might include the poet’s approach toward a certain subject, image evocation, clever wordplay, etc.

“This is awesome, where can I find more?”: All results and scheduled matchups, including a glance at the round-by-round writing windows and voting windows, are visible from the Live Scoreboard page. In addition, results will be tweeted from @edecaria as they become final.

Here are the poems:

by Linda Boyden

He whimpered, round, chocolate eyes pleading;
standing, soaked and shivery, in a puddle pimpled by the raging storm.
What could I do but carry him in and get us both warm?


Putting Away Toys (Intended for ages 5-10)
by Debbie L.

Just one more toy to put away.
It will fit, all done today.
Oh no! There’s one toy more.
Squeezzzzze it in and push the door ,
Look, no more toys are on the floor.
Hello mommy, look, all clean.
The closet door? No you can’t see.
Ouch! All my toys just pummeled me!



7-pimpled vs. 10-pummeled: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 7-pimpled (Linda Boyden) (47%, 108 Votes)
  • 10-pummeled (Debbie L.) (53%, 121 Votes)

Total Voters: 229

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  • Donna Martin

    Linda…I’m impressed! How did you manage to come up with “pimpled” and puddle and a raging storm? ;0) Good job!

    • Linda Boyden

      Thanks, Donna, it’s raining so hard here I just “saw” it.

  • Debbie

    I’m also impressed. Love how you went outside of the box! Great image!

    • Barbara Lamb

      Debbie, wonderful poem!!!

      • Debbie

        Thanks Barb!

  • Jeanine Kitchel

    Well done, Linda! I can visualize it.

  • Helena Potash

    cute Debbie..I can just imagine Billy squeezing the toys behind that closet door.

    • Debbie

      Thanks Helena. :-)

  • Deborah Iida

    Ahhhhhh Linda. The poem is lovely, and then the surprise of the last three words is positively exquisite.

  • Judy Darwin

    Debbie’s poem brought back alot of memories for me and my son, as I know she and Billy have the same great memories…thank you Debbie….

    • Debbie

      Ahh! Thanks Judy. :-)

  • Linda Boyden

    Thanks, all! Win or lose, who really cares? It is such fun to battle with poems! Thanks to Ed De Caria, for thinking this whole thing up. Debbie. L. your poem is just so true to life with kids–fun competing with you!

    • Debbie

      I agree! It was soo much fun to write. And I love your poem Linda, I am an animal lover and can picture your poem to a T! Thank you so much for the opportunity to be your partner in this battle. You are an impressive poet.

      And I agree Ed, you rock! Thank you for getting me back to poetry!

    • Debbie

      And thank you Linda. That means a lot to me. :-)

  • brenda clark

    This whole idea rocks!Both are terrific. Lengthen it, Debbie, and make a PB.

    • Debbie

      Thanks for the idea Brenda, I could have fun with that! :-)

  • Linda Boyden

    yes, it would be a great PB, Debbie. On a similar theme is Wade Bradford’s “Why Do I Have to Make My Bed? A History of Messy Rooms.” It’s clever and fun.

    • Debbie

      I’ll have to pick up up a copy of that. :-) My kids are always my inspiration.

  • Debbie

    That’s wierd, all of a sudden the formatting is strange on my poem. Hummm.

    • Ed DeCaria

      Hi Debbie. Please let me know if this is resolved. As mentioned in e-mail, it appears fine on my end (from multiple operating systems and browsers).

      • Debbie

        It’s good, must have been something on my end. LOL. I think I’ve gone crazy. Thanks for all your help!

    • Debbie

      It’s gone. strange……

  • Natalie

    It looks great from here, Debbie! :)

    • Debbie

      Thanks! :-D

    • Ed DeCaria

      Thanks for confirming, Natalie. Hopefully it was just a glitch.

  • Natalie

    No problem, Ed! :)

  • laurasalas

    I love the pimpled puddle and heartwarming ending of Pimpled…

  • Debbie

    Thank you Linda for a great contest. I really enjoyed your poem, and can’t wait to check out your books. :-)

  • Linda Boyden

    Thanks, Laura. “Will Write Poems For Food,” is on my sign! Great race, Debbie, and I assume you da winner, right? Go, girl.

    • Debbie

      Barely. We are both winners. :-D