Ed’s Top Ten Favorite March Madness Poetry 2012 Poems: #4

We’re now just four days away from the start of March Madness Poetry 2013!

Continuing my one-a-day posting of my Top Ten favorite poems from #MMPoetry 2012 … today we explore our unmentionables with Tiffany Strelitz Haber prompted by her 11-seed word “nether” in the second round:

by Tiffany Strelitz Haber

In Wackytown where up is down and night is bright as day
Santa Claus comes twice a year and drives a backwards sleigh.

It travels in reverse – a curse! But Santa’s got it made.
He’s got a secret weapon in his great reindeer brigade.

Rudy Booty leads the pack, attacking through the snow …
and sticks his tushy out, you see
his nether regions glow!

This poem captured 50% of the vote in its matchup. Did I say 50%? I meant 49.6%, as Tiffany actually LOST with what I felt was the laugh-out-loud poem of the tournament. Nether was a brutal word, and upon reflection probably incorrectly seeded due to its connotation. So when I saw what Tiffany was able to do with it — design her entire poem around her prompt word, make it kid-friendly by giving it a completely new context (because the nether regions of animals seem far less taboo than those of humans!), and use the word itself in her punchline, I was floored. By the time I got to that punchline, the scene became so visually clear that the line itself might as well have been typeset in red bold 40-point font.

So how did she lose? As her fate would have it, she was up against the eventual #MMPoetry 2012 champion Stephen W. Cahill, who himself wrote a(nother) funny saga that outpaced Tiffany’s poem by exactly three votes out of almost 400 total. (So sorry, Stephen, if it was up to me — and thank goodness it is not! — we would have had a different #MMPoetry champion last year!)

Click here to see this poem as it originally appeared in #MMPoetry 2012.

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  • http://www.itsrhymetime.com Tiffany Strelitz

    Aw!!! Thanks, Ed! I never knew! I. CAN”T. WAIT. for this year. This whole top 10 list is making the build up/countdown almost unbearably exciting!!

  • http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com Catherine Johnson

    I can’t believe Tiffany lost with that. It’s the funniest, cutest kids poem :0)

  • http://www.itsrhymetime.com Tiffany Strelitz

    You rock, Catherine. :-)

  • http://www.quinettecook.com Quinette Cook

    There are no losers in this competition! And each poem featured reminds me how tough the competition will be this year. I better buy a pair of poetry sneakers and start working on my shots. ;)

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      I will also be doing shots throughout the tournament.

  • http://www.stephenwcahill.com Stephen W Cahill

    I absolutely love Tiff’s Wackytown poem – not that I voted for it!

    I should also say that this round was really weird for me. I already knew Ms Strelitz from her website where she had a fantastic article about writing good meter. I took in every word. Then, about 6 months later, I’m up against her in a poetry competition!

    Sure it was just like the Karate Kid having to face Mr Myagi! :-)

  • http://www.allanwolf.com Allan Wolf

    This one made me groan out lout. So loud I turned heads in the lobby of the Hampton Inn in North Charleston, SC. Just goes to show you: There are no bad poets; there are only bad JUDGES.

  • Carrie Finison

    I’ve been re-reading all of last year’s poems this week, and this one was a standout for me, too. I love how she painted such a complete picture of the situation in just a few short lines. It’s hard to believe she lost with this one.

  • http://deborahholtwilliams.blogspot.com Deborah Holt Williams

    Posting last year’s poems here
    Is quite a helpful service.
    They make me feel inspired, and eager,
    And also pretty darn nervous!