ROUND ONE: 7-traipse vs. 10-nauseating


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’d 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.
  • In the Public Vote, anyone may vote, but only one vote is allowed per IP address.
  • In the Classroom Vote, you must be registered and logged in to vote.
    • Official voting classrooms should read and discuss each poem and then submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.
  • In the Authlete Vote, you must be a 2015 authlete and logged in to vote.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
  • Whether or not the poem adheres to the poem requirements for the contest.
  • Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
  • Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
  • Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
  • Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.

Apply your own criteria as well! For more on the above concepts, check out POEMETRICS™.

Here are the poems:


7-traipse what does it mean?
by Stephen Cahill

Around we traipse, Ugandan apes
Throughout the shopping mall
For canes and spats and black top hats,
Preparing for the ball.

The ball’s at nine. We swing by vine,
Arrive with perfect timing
To quaff Bellinis, down Martinis,
Tonight we’re social climbing!



10-nauseating what does it mean?
Ew, Gross!
By Colleen Owen Murphy

The kids at lunch were all debating what each one found nauseating.
Joe Junior said, upon his turn, “Nothing makes my stomach churn.”
“What if someone made you drink some curdled milk, what would you think?”
“What if someone made you sleep upon a year-old garbage heap?”
“Or if,” his friend Tom Little tried, “you had to eat slugs squashed and fried?”
No matter what each student said, Joe Junior simply shook his head.
Priscilla said, “There’s this:”
then gave Joe Junior’s cheek a kiss.
And when Joe Junior’s face turned white the kids all knew the girl was right!


Public Vote (7-traipse vs. 10-nauseating)
Final Results:
7-traipse vs. 10-nauseating

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
7-traipse vs. 10-nauseating
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
7-traipse vs. 10-nauseating

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  • Joseph Miller

    Too bad I had to pick one. I enjoyed both. Great job!

  • Amy Moore

    Ooh, this is a hard one to choose. Great work, authletes!

  • deborahhwilliams

    Love the internal rhyme in both of these!

  • Debra Shumaker

    Masterful work. Both of them. Choosing is so hard!

  • Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    Colleen, I predict “Ew, Gross”will eventually be anthologized. So good! Ugandan apes at the ball conjures up really funny images. Good luck, both of you!

    • Colleen Murphy

      That means so much to me. Thank you very much Carol. :-)

  • Ed DeCaria

    Wowie zowie that was close. Authletes were essentially split! Tough loss for Stephen, but thank you again for subbing in on short notice, and for adding another fun poem to your (and our) #MMPoetry catalog. Congrats to you, Colleen — clearly kids related well to your well-written poem. See you in Round Two!

    • Colleen Murphy

      And I thought I lost! Thank you!

  • Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    Colleen, congratulations!!! One of my favorites from round 1. It painted, for me, a classic Norman Rockwell scene. So well-done.

    • Colleen Murphy

      Thank you again Carol. It’s always reassuring to hear your writing is received well.