Each authlete was assigned a word and given 36 hours to compose a poem.
Below are their entries. Read both and vote for your favorite!
Here are the poems:
*ignominious what does it mean?
By Buffy Silverman
On a warm moonlit night when the waves boom and break
a leatherback swims from the sea.
She scrapes with her flippers and digs a deep nest
then sets on an egg-laying spree.
She fills up a burrow with minuscule moons–
her eighty-four tiny white globes,
and shrouds them beneath a summit of sand.
They’re hidden from predators’ probes.
Leatherback Mama returns to the sea–
her tracks written down as she leaves,
her eggs unprotected from lizards and crabs,
mongooses, plovers and thieves.
On a cloud-covered night with a whisper of waves
leatherback eggs stir and hatch.
Thirty-two youngsters escape from their shells,
they chip and they scritchety-scratch.
They scurry, they hurry, they race to the sea
as predators gather to feast–
a harsh, ignominious end for new babes,
a midnight buffet for each beast.
On a cool moonlit night, in a vast lonely sea
four little leatherbacks drift,
diving for jellyfish, wandering, free,
their future’s an uncertain gift.
*iridescent what does it mean?
THE SEASIDE CRAB BALLET
By Renée M. LaTulippe
Welcome. Enter. Sit right there
upon our finest driftwood chair.
We know that you’ll enjoy the show.
Our dancers are beyond compare.
Curtain up! Waves scroll back,
leave an iridescent track.
The stage is set, a wet tableau—
Sh! It’s time. Lights fade to black.
Up they pop from bubbling holes—
dancers playing tidal roles.
First the eyes, then toe toe toe—
pouring out crustacean souls.
Claws aloft in fifth position,
side chassé in repetition.
Pirouettes! Now fast, now slow.
They leave us breathless…
*** Intermission ***
Spotlights, formed by dappled sun,
show the second act’s begun.
Shore performers, row on row,
rise on tip-toe, one by one,
six legs bent in full plié.
Arabesque! Now grand jeté!
Then dancers disappear below
the sand at Seaside Crab Ballet.
- The countdown at the bottom of each pairing indicates how much time is left to vote.
- When voting closes, timer will disappear.
- Read both poems as many times as you’d like.
- Mark the poem you like best by clicking the circle next to its name.
- Press the “Vote” button to record your vote.
- Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
- In the Public Vote, anyone may vote, but only one vote is allowed per IP address.
- In the Classroom Vote, you must be registered and logged in to vote.
- Official voting classrooms should read and discuss each poem and then submit one vote as a class.
- Students can then vote again individually from home.
- In the Authlete Vote, you must be a 2015 authlete and logged in to vote.
Things to Consider in Making a Choice:
- How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
- Whether or not the poem adheres to the poem requirements for the contest.
- Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
- Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
- Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
- Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.
Apply your own criteria as well! For more on the above concepts, check out POEMETRICS™.