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- When voting closes, timer will disappear.
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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 Karyn Linnell
You might think I’m a liar, maybe blame confabulation,
When I tell you all the details of my crazy spring vacation
We planned a quiet trip by bus, me and my cousin Mona
To the hot air balloon festival held in Arizona
To our surprise the bus was full of women in their eighties
One gave us both makeovers (We looked more like clowns than ladies)
We took a restroom break and things really went downhill
We ran into a circus on its way down to Brazil
They thought we were performers; they just spoke Portuguese
We found ourselves upon a plane despite our urgent pleas
In Rio de Janeiro we finally got away
We needed to get home but we had no way to pay
We were hired by a squid boat but a giant squid was tracking us
Then in the Gulf of Mexico the squid started attacking us
Me and Mona got away and crawled along the shoal
We were covered all in seaweed; they called animal control
When they saw that we were human, not some oceanic creature
We were taken to a shelter run by a Baptist preacher
We told the man our story and when we said “hot air”
And mentioned Arizona he said he’d take us there
In his hot air balloon shaped like a butterfly
We climbed aboard and soon we were all floating in the sky
We got to Arizona and found our tour bus
The same old ladies were on board; they all smiled at us.
We thought we could relax; we were ready for a snooze
When an old lady offered to give us both tattoos
I know you don’t believe me; even I think it’s surreal
But the shaky kitten on my arm reminds me it was real
The Ersatz Election
by Samuel Kent
Election day had reached its close at last.
The tension through the room was dense and strong.
Miss Tillis tallied every vote we’d cast,
but then, bewildered, uttered, “Something’s wrong…”
“Apologies to Jill and Angelo.
You ran a decent, dignified campaign,
but with a ballot cast for ‘I don’t know’,
it seems somebody’s chosen to abstain.”
“So as it stands, we’re tied at ten to ten.
Since none prevailed, determine what we’ll do:
Another vote, but risk this draw again?
Defenestrate the ballots and be through?”
The candidates retreated from the room,
to talk, debate, deliberate, discuss…
The classroom sat as silent as a tomb
’till their return, their choice revealed to us:
“We’ve reckoned that the undecided voice
should designate our winning nominee.
Empower them to make the outright choice
for leader of our class democracy.”
With glaring sneers and sinister disdain,
the students fussed, and cussed, and sussed to see
which milquetoast kid had managed to refrain,
and everyone deduced that it was me.
Accused, I rose, and sheepishly decried,
“You’re both my friends, and hence, I couldn’t choose.
It seems unfair that now I must decide,
which one of you shall win, and which should lose.”
Miss Tillis shushed the agitated class
which rankled from the words I had to say.
An understanding nod, she pried, “Alas,
who gets to be our president today?”
I muttered, “If it’s really up to me…
And that is how our hamster came to be
the President of Classroom Two-Oh-Eight.