ROUND THREE: 9-nondescript vs. 4-signature

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:

Zombie Preparedness
By Samuel W. Kent

Statistically speaking, when zombies arrive
you’re likelier ending up dead than alive,
but seldom survivors suspect they’ll succumb
to vicious and virulent bites on their bum.

They’ll fritter their energies setting aside
their stockpiles of food in safe places to hide.
But Zed, the pragmatic, despite being scared
spent all of his time getting truly prepared…

He’d seen zombies munching, and mostly their fare
was brains on the half-skull, served totally rare.
So Zed chose to memorize books that contain
the myriad recipes featuring brain.

And when he arose from the depths of the crypt –
a vague sense of hunger and thoughts nondescript –
he grinned as he grumbled, and shuffled his feet,
for Zed, now undead, was preparing to eat!


Own It
By Callie C. Miller

Some own sweet freckles
Some sport green eyes
Some yearn for only another’s disguise

Some strum their music
Some win first place
Only risk takers won’t give up the chase

Some search for laughter
Some hunt for gold
Those who will make it are brave, wise, and bold

In all your thinking
In all you do
Make sure you always be
Signature You


9-nondescript vs. 4-signature: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 9-nondescript (Samuel W. Kent) (58%, 194 Votes)
  • 4-signature (Callie C. Miller) (42%, 140 Votes)

Total Voters: 334

Loading ... Loading ...

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

  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament
  • March Madness Kids' Poetry Tournament

Like it? Share it!

Like me? Subscribe to TKT!

  • Callie C. Miller

    Well played, sir. Well played.

  • Joe Mohr

    2 great ones again! Well done to you both!!!

  • Samuel Kent

    Thank you, Callie. I know there has been a vampire entry, but is this the first zombie poem so far?

  • Callie C. Miller

    I believe it is, unless I’ve missed a poem. I love what you’ve done with the Zombie theme by the way. Very clever!

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    I love the sweet concept of Signature You, Callie. Very nice! Samuel, that’s so weird – I just made brains on the half-skull for dinner tonight. :)

  • Linda Boyden

    Signature You and cool zombie action…ah, too much fun. Great stuff, you two.

  • Katya

    My 6th grader AND his teacher are both into zombies and prepping… they are going to love your poem, Sam.

  • Buffy Silverman

    Love this take on Zombie preparedness. And signature you delivers such gentle encouragement. Enjoyed them both.

  • Penny Klostermann

    Signature You-a perfect ending. Great job, Callie. And the walking dead are monster mashin’ after reading your poem, Sam. Should be a good match!

  • matt forrest

    Brains on the Half-Skull are even better with ketchup. Well done, both of you – hard deciding between such completely different poems!

  • Quinette Cook

    Heart-felt and humorous. Another pairing of very different types of poetry. While i love the humor in Samuel’s poem, I have to admit that the form of Callie’s poem and it’s authenticity won me over. That said, both are winners.

  • Damon Dean

    Great poems, laughable vs. affirming.
    Loved them both.

  • Allan Wolf

    Does anyone else here think it ironic that the Zombie in Samuel’s poem seems to have taken the advice in Callie’s poem? Zed is a self-actualized Zombie with high self-esteem.

  • Callie Miller

    Thanks, Quinette! This poem is very different from what I normally do, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out :) And even I had a hard time voting because each poem is so different. I tip my hat to Samuel.

  • Samuel Kent

    Well, thank you for that, Callie.

    Might I add, impressive rally in the voting. We may end up being neck and neck!

  • Cara Slavens

    Another tough one. What to do, what to do?

  • Bill

    Zombies are always a crowd pleaser.

    Perhaps the zombies are owning it?

  • Robyn Hood Black

    Ahh, more zombies. But this newly dead fellow is quite resourceful.
    Love the concept and phrase of “Signature You.” Thanks, both, for sharing!

  • Dave Crawley

    there’s nothng nondescript about either one of these signature pieces. Love them both.

  • Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

    Yowza! This was some match. I adore Callie’s title “Own it” and how it connects right to the ending – we all need this poem. And Samuel’s prepared zombie cracked me up (and reminded me of my Y2K soup can towers…)

  • Samuel Kent

    Whew! What an exhausting round of poetry!

    Callie, I count it a blessing to have been your competitor. Great job with your endearing poem, and I look forward to reading more from your mighty pen in the future.

  • Quinette Cook

    Congrats Samuel! And Callie, what Samuel said – can’t wait to see where the muse takes you next.

  • Callie C. Miller

    I tip my hat to you, sir. I am honored to have lost to such a clever poem. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Good luck in the Elite Eight!!

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    Great race, Callie and Samuel! Looking forward to seeing what you’ve got in store for the Elite Eight, Samuel – congrats!

  • Mary Lee

    Congratulations to both of you! Looking forward to the next round (and more poems from Callie in the future)!!

  • Callie Miller

    Thanks, Mary, how sweet of you! :)