ROUND FOUR: 9-erasures vs. 15-disquietude


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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:


9-erasures what does it mean?
By Tiffany Strelitz Haber

Bored in my bedroom one day I decided to measure myself on the wall.
I scribbled a dot on the spot my head ended- amazed I had gotten so tall.

I stared at the dot, and it seemed to call out to me, “Play with me, Jimmy- come play!”
So I added a line, and began to design and got mildly carried away.

The line became mountains and snowflakes and penguins, a fuzzy big bear and a bird!
“I’ll finish the scene, then I’ll wipe the walls clean, make it seem like it never occurred.”

Once I was done, I admired my work, and then on to step 2 of the plan:
I found each eraser we had in the house, and then dropped to my knees and began.

But despite my erasures the glaciers remained and the mountains, the ground and the sky.
Not a speck disappeared, it was worse than I feared, and I struggled to figure out why.

Two seconds later my Mommy burst in and she shreiked in her squeakiest voice,
“When you choose what to use for a wall drawing, permanent marker should NOT be your choice!”



15-disquietude what does it mean?
Stay Away From Spooky Houses…and Toads
By Carissa Mina

There’s a spooky little house sitting vacant up the road,
they tell me that it’s haunted, and it’s guarded by a toad.
Late at night when feigning sleep, and of this I can’t deny,
I’ve heard a ghostly wailing sneaking through the midnight sky.
So I’ve tried to keep my space fearing what I’d find within,
a zombie or a werewolf or a floating toothy grin.
But one night when we were out, wreaking ruckus as we do,
they dared me to go in the house and paint the windows blue.
So I snuck up to the porch, taking careful silent strides,
I felt a faint disquietude attacking my insides.
But I opened up the door and was quite surprised to see
the house was clean and empty and was seeming ghostly free.
When I stepped inside the room and prepared to do my deed,
a creaking then a croaking then a creaking croaking heed,
“You must leave this little house never ever to return.”
I didn’t and I wouldn’t and I’ve never felt the yearn.


Public Vote (9-erasures vs. 15-disquietude)
Final Results:
9-erasures vs. 15-disquietude

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
9-erasures vs. 15-disquietude
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
9-erasures vs. 15-disquietude

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  • Ryan

    I have been so impressed with you two this whole tournament. I wasn’t disappointed here either! The only disappointment for me now is that one of you will not be moving on. Fantastic job this round and each round before!

  • Randi

    Tiffany, I love the internal rhyme with glaciers and erasures, and the ending is so cute! I can so picture this happening. Carissa, I love the sound of your poem. It just spills off the tongue so beautifully!

  • RJ Clarken

    Tiffany – I so relate to the permanent marker on the walls! Yikes! Loved your poem! And Carissa – ghost stories! Because! Great poeming!

  • Josh Close

    Tiffany – I’ve come to expect something humorous from you with a good punchline every round, and this is continuing the trend! Very funny, and relate-able for most parents and the kid-culprits I’m sure!

    Carissa – I think the number 1 question I get asked with poetry when I read aloud in classrooms is whether or not I have any scary poems. I have very few, they are not as easy to write as humorous poems. Good idea! It only increases the variety of poems in MMPoetry – not sure I’ve seen very many scary themed poems the last few years. I love the 3rd to last line especially!

  • Buffy Silverman

    Loved the tension and scary mood you’ve created, Carissa, and the perfect ghostly ending. Great language in yours, too, Tiffany–love how your narrators creativity cannot be stopped (or erased!)

  • Carissa Mina

    Thank you!

  • Ed DeCaria

    And there we have it! Our fourth Final Four member has been decided. Yet another very close matchup; you each got good support in all three vote categories. Carissa — you’ve entertained us readers every single round. And Tiffany, I don’t think anyone is surprised to see you in the Final Four after consistently contributing so many clever, funny, and well-written poems to the event over the years. Congrats on making the Final Four!

  • Carissa Mina

    Congratulations Tiffany! This is a well deserved win!!! Good luck

  • Rebekah Hoeft

    Congratulations, Tiffany!
    See you next year, Carissa?!

    • Carissa Mina


  • Janet F.

    I loved your poem, Carissa. I know kids will enjoy it, too. I loved how you added in yearn and ruckus and feigning! Congratulations Tiffany. I enjoyed your poem and know so many kids who will, too! Such delightful work that I am guessing did not come easy in the 36 hours allotted. Hope you have gotten enough sleep!! Bravo.

    • Carissa Mina

      Thanks, Janet!

    • Carissa Mina

      Thanks, Janet!