ROUND ONE: 8-svelte vs. 9-bemoan

r1f2 8-svelte vs. 9-bemoan

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:

Svelte Does Not Rhyme with Fat
by Jane Yolen

I never knew, I never felt
That I was large, just not real svelte,
Until a card–sent badly signed–
Said, “Be my piggy Valentine.”

Instead of oinking, showing hurt,
Or feeling like the worst sty dirt,
I sent a note back, heart all achin’:
Sir, you’re full of bull, (Signed) Bacon.


First Day of Spring
by Anna Eleanor Jordan

I never thought the day would come
when I’d bemoan the snow.
Instead, my nose against the glass
I’d watch the white stuff grow.

But now I crave some color
some warmth, and sun, and rain.
The calendar says springtime
but the snow has come again.


Public Vote (8-svelte vs. 9-bemoan)
Final Results:
8-svelte vs. 9-bemoan

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
8-svelte vs. 9-bemoan
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
8-svelte vs. 9-bemoan

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  • Debbie B. LaCroix

    Anna, so true!!! You’ve captured what we are all feeling. Jane, you said Bacon! You know how I feel about bacon. :-)

  • Quinette Cook

    These were both excellent. Jane’s made me laugh out loud. And Anna, I feel your pain– I can’t wait for warmer weather. I’m going to go make a BLT now.

    • Bonnie Bailey

      I agree – both were great.

  • Ldegman

    Wow, really tough one! I’m trying not to let my vegetarianism or snow-fatigue influence my vote :-)

  • Jane Yolen

    I thought about ending with something more like :”You’re no Shakespeare,” signed Friend Bacon.” But I thought it would be too opaque for most of my audience. Oh well1

    • Mother Streusel

      Writing for MMPoetry is tough…you have the children to think about, the other Authletes, the space limitations, the boundaries created by the word, and then your own personal ideals to fit in. I can identify with the feeling that one has to make sacrifices to get everything to fit as best as possible. Sort of like stuffing a suitcase and having to leave something behind.

      • Bonnie Bailey

        Very true.

    • Gloson

      But “full of bull” was a good rhyme. :)

  • Damon Dean

    Wow. Hard choice. Two perfectly metered emotion-measured poems. For nerve or yearn, which one do I choose?

    • Mother Streusel

      If they ever have commentators for this event, I nominate you and Quinette.

      • Damon Dean

        Thanks! That’s the fun of this whole competition I think, the camaraderie.

        • Mother Streusel

          I agree!!!! Win or lose, participating is an awesome experience.

  • Mother Streusel

    Great stuff. Both are clearly professional quality.

  • Bonnie Bailey

    Anna, oh how I relate! I’ll be fond of winter again after it’s been absent for quite a while :) “my nose against the glass” is a really nice line.

  • Bonnie Bailey

    Jane, at 9 months pregnant, I needed a good laugh about, well, not being quite so svelte as piggy-ish. I could really go for some bacon, too (honestly, I really could). Nice work :)

  • julie krantz

    This was a tough choice–loved both poems!

  • Debra Shumaker

    What a tough choice – I want to vote for both!

  • Angie Karcher

    Jane, you had me at bacon.

    • Jane Yolen

      It’s hard when 1. the poems are so unalike and 2. both have a certain amount of cred-ability (and ability) to them. But then, I love Yeats and Dickinson for very different readers. So I guess there’s room. Thanks for those who voted for me and those who did not. Since last time I got knocked out in the first round, it feels good to have a second chance.


      • Jane Yolen

        So, Ed, how do we get the next word delivered? Am raring to go. . . .