Ed’s Top Ten Favorite March Madness Poetry 2013 Poems: #1

Okay, here it is: #1 on my list of Top Ten Favorite Poems of #MMPoetry 2013!

This is what the author said upon receipt of his word last year: “Step One: Find a dictionary. Step Two: Convince oneself there is any way of using this word in a child-friendly poem.”

The word?


It’s definition/connotation?

To treat with or subject to a drug that affects the brain and that is usually dangerous and illegal

The poet?

Eric Ode

And the poem …

I Slumber to Numbers
By Eric Ode

I slumber to numbers. They sing me to sleep.
One page of equations, I’m soon counting sheep.
I doze to division and multiplication.
The stacking of fractions can cause hibernation.
Subtractions and factors will daze and deflate me,
tranquilize, narcotize, soundly sedate me.
But, oh, here we go with a 7 times 4,
a 20 plus 12, and a 10 minus. . . snore!


I’ve linked to this poem numerous times since last year’s event. It’s fast-paced, funny, perfectly-metered, kid-friendly, centered around his prompt word, AND it finishes with a punch. And all this using one of the hardest words ever assigned to an #MMPoetry authlete (past, present, or future). For that, this was an easy choice as my personal favorite poem of the entire event.

Click here to see this poem as it originally appeared in #MMPoetry 2013.

March Madness Poetry 2014 begins MONDAY! The first round, first flight words will be revealed to the authletes between 8-9pm CDT.

The first poems will be up for vote midday Wednesday, March 19th. And by midday Thursday, March 20th, all 64 first round poems will be up for vote at the same time.

Enjoy the madness!

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  • Damon Dean

    That was indeed a kid-perfect poem. I’ve taught math to 5th graders and I’ve seen this poem in live-time. Eric nailed it.

  • Renee LaTulippe

    Wonderful, indeed, with a great punchline! That was a cruel word, Ed, but Eric handled it with aplomb.

  • Catherine Johnson

    It was a crazy word and Eric made magic with it.

  • Janet F.

    As a longtime math teacher in gr. 5 and 3, I especially could relate to Eric’s clever and snappy poem! Yes, kid-perfect, Damon, and I second Catherine’s “crazy” word/magic comment. I just re-read this last month before wonderful Eric graciously made a quick visit to “my” classroom (at my old school where I volunteer to teach poetry now) when he was in our East Coast (sort of) “neck-of-the-woods” recently and truly enjoyed it a lot! Good choice, Ed, though so many poems are delightful and worth more than a second or third read! Eric does poet/author/songwriter classroom visits and he is also a delight in person, great with kids and packs a lot into a short visit! And to think I first met him at MMPoetry! But it was his “The Octopus” poem that cemented our connection via a little girl from Maine who loves octopi!

  • Jeanne Poland

    My partner is “Digital Don”, an electronics person. He speaks Math.
    I’m the visual one, and speak color. Fortunately, I love the clock and he has patience.

  • BJ Lee

    fabulous! slumber to numbers and stacking of fractions brilliant!

  • Eric Ode

    Ed, what an honor and a treat to find this poem as your top pick from 2013! I do wish I was able to take part again this year. 2015, perhaps? Thank you for all you do.

  • Buffy Silverman

    Amazing how seamlessly and brilliantly Eric used this evil word!

  • http://motherstreusel.com/ Mother Streusel

    AWESOME!!! Great poem. I am so excited for tonight! Hooray for 15-seed words!

  • Dave Crawley

    A well deserved choice for #1. I’m just glad I never had to match wits with Eric last year!