ROUND THREE: 8-certitude vs. 5-palate

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:

By Marileta Robinson

When I defend with certitude
A certain point of view
And justify my attitude
That I know more than you
By pointing out the facts I’ve found
That clearly build my case
And vehemently stand my ground
and put you in your place
And fortify my argument
With discourse loud and long
That’s passionate and eloquent—
It usually means I’m wrong.


Pot “Un”luck
By Tiffany Strelitz Haber

I bought a giant pot one day while on a shopping spree.
I hadn’t ever cooked before but how hard could it be?

I added every palate pleaser. Things that make me drool.
Chocolate cake. Just raw. Why bake? And who needs cooking school??

Scrambled eggs and peanut noodles, marinated meat.
Beat em, dipped em, fried em, whipped em. (Lather, rinse, repeat!)

The pot went in the oven with the timer set for 8.
Supercalifra-delicious! I could hardly wait.

Dancing in my kitchen, I was filled with endless pride.
I opened up the oven just to take a peek inside.

The mixture had congealed a bit, and boy, it sure did stink.
I tasted it. The flavor? It was Soup de Kitchen Sink.


8-certitude vs. 5-palate: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 8-certitude (Marileta Robinson) (59%, 120 Votes)
  • 5-palate (Tiffany Strelitz Haber) (41%, 83 Votes)

Total Voters: 203

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  • Catherine Johnson

    There’s everything from the poetry kitchen sink in these. Well done both of you.

  • angie breault

    Can’t decide on this one. Awesome job to you both!

  • Carrie Finison

    I’m going to have to come back to this one. Two masters at work = one tough choice.

  • Laura Shovan

    Marietta, that’s the perfect title for your poem! Funny and clever, Tiffany. Good luck, both of you!

  • Ed DeCaria

    There’s always one every round that kills me. This is the one for me … I expect I’ll be reading these each a dozen times or more before casting my vote.

  • Quinette Cook

    These were so much fun to read. I used to make casseroles from leftovers that sounded a lot like what’s in Tiffany’s poem. Funny. And, I can relate to Marileta’s poem because I’m “right” all of the time too (except when I’m not). :)

  • Marileta Robinson

    It’s interesting that we both wrote 12-line poems.

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    What a great matchup! Really clever and funny poems from both of you, so I’ll have to come back to this one too. Thank you for these! :)

  • Linda Boyden

    tight race going here! Good works!

  • Penny Klostermann

    I can see why this is close! Both pack 12 lines of powerful poetry! Great job, Marileta and Tiffany!

  • Carrie Finison

    I came back, but I still can’t decide. Maybe I need to sleep on it.

  • Ed DeCaria

    I’m on read #5 of this matchup. Still no closer to making a decision. These are two seriously excellent poems.

    I love Marileta’s run-on sentence leading to its abrupt 180-degree ending.

    And Tiffany just kills it the way she does every time — another funny, fast-paced, perfectly-metered story in verse.

  • Buffy Silverman

    Loved the humor, language, and ending twist in both of these!

  • Janet F.


  • laurasalas

    These are both fabulous! I had a tough time making a call–humor, spot-on meter, strong words. What more could I want?

  • Damon Dean

    As Ed said.
    Very difficult choice. Great uses of the words with both words foundational to the whole notion of each poem.
    Impeccable technically.

  • Julie Larios

    Yes, this was the hardest choice for me in Round 3. Two excellent poems!

  • Allan Wolf

    Marileta, your ABAB rhyme (double points in my book) and super-fluid rhythm won me over with Certitude!

  • Gloson Teh

    Tiffany, as stated in her bio, is indeed a food freak! Marileta, love the vocabulary and meter. Oh dear. I can’t decide.

  • Marileta Robinson

    I love the energy of Tiffany’s poem, and the way she worked in supercalifra-delicious without missing a beat. Well done! (No pun intended.)

  • Kelley Cunningham

    Tried to vote for Debatable, but there was no circle to click by the name of the poem. Nice job!

    • Ed DeCaria

      Kelley, the voting buttons are beneath the poems themselves, and show only the seed, word, and authlete name, buy not the poem title.

  • Cara Slavens

    I’m having a tough time, too. Mostly because they both sound like me, at one point in my life or another.

  • Lissa Clouser

    I wanted to vote for BOTH of these. Both so very good in their own way!

  • Betty Erickson

    Both of these 12 line poems tell a story clearly in a fun way, but I had to go with Marileta’s because she described me to a T.

  • Carrie Finison

    Nope. Still can’t decide. At this point I think I might abstain here. Will be back later.

  • juliekrantz

    This was a hard one, ladies! Best of luck to both of you.

  • Robyn Hood Black

    What a terrific match-up! I think I can click now, but I have no idea which way that scoreboard will be tilting. Well done, ladies.

  • Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

    Whew! Wow. I chose, but not without shaking my head. Congrats, both!

  • Quinette Cook

    I’m actually surprised the score wasn’t closer. Well done ladies. Good luck Marileta.

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    Congratulations, Marileta! This was a tough one – both wonderful poems. :)

  • Mary Lee

    Two fabulous poems! Congratulations to BOTH of you!

  • Mohan

    Marileta – the certitude poem should be required reading at every Business School……