Ed’s Top Ten Favorite March Madness Poetry 2012 Poems: #5

We’re now just five days away from the start of March Madness Poetry 2013! (And I’m starting to freak out about it!)

Continuing my one-a-day posting of my Top Ten favorite poems from #MMPoetry 2012 … today we turn the volume down with Allan Wolf’s poem prompted by his 15-seed word “derelict” in the second round:

15-derelict
Silence
by Allan Wolf

The pirate ship is derelict, abandoned on the sea.
The garden is deserted, blossoms withered into weeds.
The tire swing spins slowly as its lonely rope unravels.
The secret trail is thick with leaves. The quest is left untraveled.
The jungle gym is choked with vines. The tree fort stands alone.
Imagination moved away; the children have all grown.


This poem captured 60% of the vote in its matchup (besting another excellent poem by Kristy Dempsey) and pushed Allan into the Sweet Sixteen. For those unaware, this poem followed Allan’s now-famous (around these parts) first round poem, where he rhymed his 15-seed word “kinkier” with a made-up word “thinkier”, a turn of phrase that has since come to emblematize #MMPoetry and that has literally been carved into stone. Allan is a master of verse and it is a pleasure to have him back in the mix again this year.

Click here to see this poem as it originally appeared in #MMPoetry 2012. I also recommend reading the comments within that matchup page, which are very funny and I think representative of the positive and playful spirit of this event.

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  • http://readingyear.blogspot.com Mary Lee

    You can almost hear the chains on the swings creaking…

  • Janet F.

    Yes, this is and was moving. It was the silence in the house when my son left for college, it was vicerally horrible. (Only child.) Sure I missed him, but I missed the vibrant way he lived more, I think. A beautiful poem, thanks Allan. (And Ed, of course!)

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

    I remember this poem well. I was really stressed out at the time and on the road visiting schools. It was originally 12 lines instead of six. I doubled them up to keep within the 8-line limit. (I THINK there was an 8-line limit, right Ed?) And I sort of took liberties with the word “tire” which is technically a one-syllable word, I think.

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

      Yes, there was (and will continue to be) an 8-line limit in the first two rounds.

      And where I come from (the mill towns of West Virginia), I assure you that “tire” is a TWO-syllable word. It is pronounced “taaaaaaayer”. It rhymes with “fiiiiiiiyer”, and goes great with three-syllable words like “admiiiiiiiyer”.

      Of course, indisputable one-syllable words like “gosh” are also two-syllable words in this area (i.e., “oh my goa-ush”).

  • http://www.pennyklostermann.com Penny Klostermann

    I am really enjoying the top ten. I remember this one….awesome!

  • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

    This one kills me. I’m in a “Puff the Magic Dragon” mood…. Sniff.

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

    Love the poem and all of the comments.

  • http://www.childrensauthorbjlee.com B.J. Lee

    This one just takes it right out of me. Fabulous!

  • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

    Here are Allan Wolf’s notebooks – on his WALLS! Love this. http://www.sharingournotebooks.amylv.com/2012/04/allan-wolf-i-wrote-obsessively-on-my.html

  • Elizabeth Brahy

    There are so many great and inspiring poems here, but I think this one is my favorite of all.