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- How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word.
- Technical elements: meter, rhyme, form, shape, and other poetic standards.
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Here are the poems:
A Penny for your Thoughts
by J. J. Close
My grandpa has this thing he does; he’s done it now for years.
He shoves a penny in his ear, then says it disappears.
He claims that this is magical, that I should be amazed,
I lie and look ecstatic, even though I think he’s crazed.
I think he might have tossed or lost his marbles to old age,
Or in his book, he may have over-galvanized each page.
But nonetheless, yes, I digress, I love him that I do,
for each and every thing he does – I’ll share a few with you:
Every single morning when the birds all sing a chorus,
he would stomp around the house impersonating stegosaurus.
And then again in evening when the bugs start to kerfuffle,
He pretends that he’s a dancer and he does the Cupid Shuffle.
On Mondays he would desiccate his sweatshirt and his shorts,
‘Cause every Sunday evening, he would play all my Wii sports.
“I get a little sweaty from the exercise,” he’d say.
“And so my clothes need drying from this rather busy day.”
On Thursdays he would clean the cultch and clutter off the yard,
From Wednesday when he’d play all day with Butch – our Saint Bernard.
‘Cause Butch was rather reckless when he’d run and chase and chew,
But not as bad as Grandpa, who would do all those things too.
On Friday, he would argue with three squirrels in our tree,
He claimed the nuts were his but they would rudely disagree
So argumentative, they’d give him cheek and then talk smack,
And then they’d throw the nuts at him… my grandpa threw them back.
Come Saturday, today’s the day, he makes things disappear,
It’s time to let him know, I know he sticks them in his ear.
However, after telling him, I’m not sure that he heard.
From all the pennies in his ears his hearing might be slurred.
A Letter on Behalf of Ampersand
by Samuel Kent
Dearest teachers & assistants,
Please adhere to this insistence.
It’s our mission to petition -
for its overdue admission:
of the letter Ampersand.
Though it neatly nestles nicely
‘twixt the “Y & Z” precisely,
and has a certain function
as a substitute conjunction,
we confess with calm compunction,
it’s abused as merely “and”.
We believe we have a duty
to this hieroglyphic beauty.
Let its usage be expanded:
written right- or leftward-handed,
“a – n – d” is ampersanded!
That’s our solemn, sole demand.
Think of effort we’d be saving
giving sentences a shaving,
making phrases much less “and”-y
& a lot more ampersandy
adding simple, shortened candy
to the words we write by hand.
With accelerated fleetness
we’d complete with nimble neatness
every note or memorandum —
spelling wouldn’t seem as random —
with the ampersand in tandem
at our everyday command.
With respect, we share our letter
for this character that’s better.
Signed sincerely by
on behalf of Ampersand.