#MMPoetry 2015 Finals Promo (voiceover by Matt Forrest)
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!
NEW FOR ROUND SIX! AUDIENCE CHALLENGE: After reading and voting, we invite you to post your own poems in the comments using the words “argyle” and/or “conic” (but NOT using “gargoyles” or “catatonic”), which are two other fun prompt words found within the words above.
Here are the poems:
*gargoyles what does it mean?
By Buffy Silverman
From the day she was carved in the side of the church
the gargoyle was frozen in stone,
watching the wind brush the leaves of the birch,
while feeling despised and alone.
The crows swarmed each evening and cawed in her face;
they slurped from her spout when it splashed.
They speckled her neck and she felt a disgrace,
her stoical dignity smashed.
Oh, how she yearned for her wings to unfold!
She’d soar while she warbled adieu.
But then she recalled what those cocky birds crowed:
There’s nothing those gargoyles can do!
Early one April, two wrens came along
as she watched from up high in her tomb.
Hearing their bubbly and chirruping song,
she wallowed in darkness and gloom
until she perceived a soft fluttering throb,
a beat in her cavernous heart,
a twisting and turning and light-feathered bob,
a warming that gave her a start.
She welcomed the wrens as they bustled inside,
busily building their nest.
She heard their eggs hatch with a stirring of pride
from deep in her stone-hearted chest.
She sheltered her friends until thunderstorms passed,
she covered her chicks till they flew,
she guarded them all, understanding at last,
There’s so much a gargoyle can do!
*catatonic what does it mean?
The Ballad of Billy Greer
By Randi Sonenshine
On a day like this when the robins kiss
and the tulips burst in bloom,
in this lab right here, little Billy Greer
met a grim and ghastly doom.
It’s a dreadful tale on an epic scale,
but it’s one you need to hear.
I regret to tell, but I feel compelled
to repeat it every year.
Well, the class began with a simple plan –
an experimental task:
just some zinc combined with some iodine
in an Erlenmeyer flask.
Things were going well when a toxic smell
drifted swiftly by my nose.
Then I noticed Bill, who was frozen still,
in a catatonic pose.
With a sudden jerk, he resumed his work,
but he added something new,
and he stirred and mixed while I stood transfixed
by his spewing, bubbly brew.
Then I watched him pour just a few drops more,
of a liquid blue and gooey;
that was all it took, ‘cause the whole room shook
when his compound went KABLOOEY!
Well, we all stood dazed in an azure haze –
it was over in a flash.
When the air was clear, all we found of Greer
was a pile of bluish ash.
Now on certain nights when the time is right
all the flasks begin to fume,
and the pipettes luge in the centrifuge
while the tongs whiz ‘round the room.
Then the beakers gleam in the moonlight’s beam
and the funnels start to sway,
and combustibles sport in flaming duels
while the Petri dishes play.
When the forceps waltz with the Epsom salts
in a ghastly lab tableau,
if you look real close, you can see Bill’s ghost
in the Bunsen burner’s glow.
So put safety first to avoid the worst,
though it may seem like a chore;
for if not, I fear, just like Billy Greer,
you’ll end up in test tube four!
CONGRATULATIONS TO BUFFY SILVERMAN, MARCH MADNESS POETRY 2015 CHAMPION!
- 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™.