ROUND TWO: 7-premise vs. 2-wage

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:

The Grape Premise
By M. M. Socks

I have considered a premise, and here is my thought –

If I steal one itty-bitty grape, there is no way I’d get caught.

No one cares if I steal one little grape.
No one would get mad or bent out of shape.

I’ll creep in slowly, steal the grape and go.
Shh, I need to be quiet so no one will know.

Mmm, that grape was delicious – look around – no one noticed – see?

The only one that will ever know I stole it –


Dragon Dreams
By Laura Salas

Flesh-made mountain: dragon sleeps,
tending dreams of fire and death.
Steaming vapor streams and creeps—
misty wreath of dragon breath.

Hemlock ribs cage granite heart:
beat by beat, bright valley quakes.
He’ll wage a war to break apart
creation.Hush!The dragonwakes.


7-premise vs. 2-wage: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 7-premise (M. M. Socks) (54%, 202 Votes)
  • 2-wage (Laura Salas) (46%, 174 Votes)

Total Voters: 376

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“This is awesome, where can I find more?”:
Browse other matchups using the slider below and click to go straight to that matchup!

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  • Ed DeCaria

    This one was tough to format so if either of you thinks yours if off, please send me a private note. Thanks! -Ed

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    Hm, both about tip-toeing around with “quiet” formatting at the end. I keep saying it, but it’s so weird when there are similarities like that in the match-ups, even with such different poems. Wonderful work on both sides. Maybe if the dragon were guarding the grapes, the first narrator wouldn’t have such a heavy conscience. :)

  • Ed DeCaria

    I know! First time I think EVER that any poem required font shrinking and — sure enough — both poems in the matchup use the same technique!

  • Domd

    And did you realize both use the word “creep”?? That is creepy!!!

  • Patricia Nozell

    Similarities AND a tight contest. Another really tough call. Well done both!

  • Quinette Cook

    I like grapes and am a sucker for dragons. Grape dragons are my favorites! As an artist, I like poems that use the white space on the page – it enhances the reader’s experience (often without them being aware of it).

  • Hannah Ruth Wilde

    It’s so amazing where these words take the poets! Much much enjoyed!

  • laurasalas

    I do, too, Q! Though after some questions about line count in my Round One poem, I decided to take it very traditional with two quatrains and nothing hinky about lines or spacing. Well, except that shrunken font:>)

  • laurasalas

    Well done, Mr. Socks! Kind of put me in mind of the narrative voice of This Is Not My Hat:>)

  • Alvaro

    Up against the famous Laura Salas! If I go down, this is how I want to go. SALUD!!

  • Robyn Hood Black

    Nice work, both – and I really love the “creepy” and font-downsizing similarities! Laura, “Hemlock ribs cage granite heart” is a killer line.

  • Gloson Teh

    Yes, Domd, not only did they BOTH use the word “creep”, they BOTH used a smaller font size for the last line. :O

  • Laura Shovan

    I can see and feel the dragon’s granite heart. The guilty speaker in “The Grape Premise” has a weighty heart too.

  • Carrie Finison

    The imagery in Laura’s poem is stunning, and I like how MM Socks’ poem challenges the reader to think. Well done, both!

  • Penny Klostermann

    What a matchup. I imagine this will be close til the end.

  • Heidi Mordhorst

    Yes, the repeated similarities in competing poems is uncanny. THIS is what I’d like PoeMetrics to reveal! Enjoyable, both–especially “hemlock ribs.”

  • Damon Dean

    There ‘s a Muse that is visiting the marched up poets! Must be the reason there are these eerie similarities.
    I loved both of these.
    I must confess i pictured the grape thief as a mouse on the counter…

  • Ed DeCaria

    Brownie points for Heidi for mentioning POEMETRICS™ …

  • Mary Lee

    Wow! What everyone else has already said — the whispers at the ends of both, the creeping/stealing/”stealing” around…there must be some kind of poetic vibe that happens with these words.

    Can POEMETRICS™ measure magic? (…just the brownies, Ed, I’ll skip the points…)

  • Janet F.

    Ok Mary Lee… must be a morning person. LOVE your comment here!! Agree with you agreeing with the others!

  • Dave Crawley

    Great choices. Looks as if it will come down to the wire.

  • Robyn Hood Black

    Can I have some brownies? These too-close-to-call ones are making me want to do some nervous snacking!

    • Ed DeCaria

      I heard that Eric Ode and his wife were baking cookies, brownies, and assorted cakes and pies for all of the authletes …

  • laurasalas

    Congratulations, Alvaro! It was fun competing with you!

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    Congrats, Alvaro! You had some tough competition here with Laura’s gorgeous dragons. See you in Sweet Sixteen!

  • Michel Krueger

    I enjoyed them both! Congrats, Alvaro. Now stomp on some grapes, and raise a glass to celebrate your victory!

  • Alvaro

    This is truly MADNESS. Never thought I’d get this far! I loved your dragon Laura! Being around better writers will only make my writing better.

    On to the Sweet Sixteen!