Ed’s Top Ten Favorite March Madness Poetry 2013 Poems: #2

We are now just TWO days away from the start of the March Madness Poetry 2014 tournament! Tonight I reveal #2 on my list of Top Ten Favorite Poems of #MMPoetry 2013. If you know any kids who think poetry is dainty or boring, send them to this page. This poem has MASSIVE kid appeal — if you had told me that these lyrics came from a best-selling rap track, I would have believed you. Yet here they are, trapped in the body of a kids’ poem, just waiting to explode upon the right set of impressionable young eyes:

By Renée M. LaTulippe

Say what you want. My ears are shut.
Your code for me does not apply.
I see your mouths move. Tell you what—
save your breath. Don’t even try
to crack me like a coconut
with rumors, lies, and subterfuge.
Say what you want. My ears are shut.
Watch me rise. I’m gonna be HUGE.


Renée literally puts on a clinic about punching up prose with poetry. She also hosts a video library of kids’ poets reading their work, among other creative projects. We’ll miss her in #MMPoetry this year, but like the kid in her “Anthem” above, I’m confident she’ll be back.

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

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  • pennyklostermann

    Great to read this one again! Really enjoying your Top Ten, Ed!

  • deborahhwilliams

    Love the “crack me like a coconut.” Yay, Renee!

  • Renee LaTulippe

    Thanks for this, Ed! I’m honored. And to think this started out as a poem about bunnies! :)

    • http://motherstreusel.com/ Mother Streusel

      Great job!

    • Rebekah Hoeft

      Bunnies?! How did you go from bunnies to your finished product?! I love how often the writing of a poem evolves it from its original form or theme!

  • Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    So inspiring! Especially so for a teenager, I would imagine.

  • Buffy Silverman

    I had forgotten how terrific this poem was–and yes, now that Ed mentions it, I could hear it as a rap song. This match was a tough one to decide–Kai Zander’s Hungry Night was also excellent (in the end I chose yours, Renee–not sure I would have voted for the bunnies :)

  • Marileta Robinson

    Beautiful, and I agree that it has great kid appeal. Truly an anthem.

  • Matt Forrest

    Good one, Renee!

  • Jeanne Poland

    I can picture the kid with his hands covering his ears.
    Thank you Renee for the reminder.

  • Jeanne Poland

    I can picture the kid with his hands covering his ears.
    Thank you Renee for the reminder.

  • Catherine Johnson

    I love the attitude coming through with this one. Great job Renee. We’ll miss you.

  • Damon Dean

    Renee’ I can’t imagine the bunnies this poem started out with! They probably had some serious tattoos! This goes is much more timely than the “sticks and stones” ditty I was taught as a child. Damn the “code” of the crowd…full speed ahead!

  • disqus_xkUvROpuwp

    Renee is truly a fabulous poet. I love everything she does! :)

  • BJ Lee

    love the voice in this one, Renee. Brava!

  • Dave Crawley

    This one is a lot better than that old saw about “sicks and stones will break my bones…”