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Things to Consider in Making a Choice:
- How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word.
- Technical elements: meter, rhyme, form, shape, and other poetic standards.
- Creativity: wordplay, imagery, unusual approach, etc.
- Subtle elements that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
- Your overall response: emotional reaction such as admiration, tears, laughter, terror, or some indefinable feeling.
Here are the poems:
Poor Man Joe
By M. M. Socks
Have you ever met Poor Man Joe?
He lives in a town called Portmanteau.
He’s brilliant and wealthy –
He’s bought all the latest suits.
He hunts wild animals and makes them into boots.
Poor Man Joe has got the greenest yard
Surrounded by elegant statues constantly on guard.
He’s witty and funny –
He’s got the perfect life.
He found himself a lovely girl and made that girl his wife.
So why, you ask, is Joe so poor
When he lives his life in the midst of grandeur –
With money and power
And jewelry of every kind?
Because all these things exist only in Joe’s mind.
Joe has no money and there is no town –
He’s never been funny – he’s always worn a frown.
He walks the streets – his mind full of colliding streams
of dreams –
By Dave Crawley
1. given to using long words.
2. (of a word) containing many syllables.
Forgive me for waxing sesquipedalian,
using long words, irretrievably alien.
Words with an etymological source
(polysyllabically speaking, of course).
But you, with temerity, dare juxtapose
my sluggardly speech with my ponderous prose!
Your effrontery’s neither polite, nor propitious.
To call you my friend would appear suppositious.
You say I’m recalcitrant? Stubborn? Contrarian?
Words of disparagement make me lugubrious,
fighting a syndrome that’s hardly salubrious.
Searching a cure for this grim tribulation,
I found a young doctor who promised cessation.
Shaking his head, he said, “This is no frolic.
You are a sesquipedaliaholic!”
He plied me with pills for the span of a week,
then said, “You are cured! I can prove it. Now speak!”
Monosyllabic, I started to talk:
“See Spot run. Puff has fun. See Dick and Jane walk.”
Doc covered his ears as he fell to his knees.
“The cure is much worse,” he cried, “than the disease!”
His expostulation caused me to walk out.
I still am long-winded, but cured of all doubt.
I no longer care if you choose to make sport of it.
That is the long (but never the short) of it.
*portmanteau vs. *sesquipedalian: Which Poem Did You Prefer?
- *portmanteau (M. M. Socks) (50%, 1,082 Votes)
- *sesquipedalian (Dave Crawley) (50%, 1,087 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,168
Read and vote on the other Final Four matchup, too!
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