AW Poetry Contest - RESULTS

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Kylabelle

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I have no dog in this fight, and no feelings to be hurt.

but I just don't see what we gain by knowing who came in 26th of 26, and by how much.

I would really enjoy discussing some of these poems individually, without comparing them to one another at all.

Well, of course, it isn't about knowing who came in 26th but about seeing the shape of the patterns involved, and also having the chance to let number 26 know that they got votes! and that there is not a single bad poem in the bunch anyway.

But I'm not going to push for anything, and will happily join you in discussing a poem or several.
 

CassandraW

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there's always the shot that one or more of them got no votes at all...
 

Kylabelle

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*sigh* I suppose you're right.
 

Elsye_Harwood

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Picked the winner, a sweary one and a melancholy one. I'm no poet and from a purely nerdy perspective I would love to see how the voting of bumpkins like myself compared to those who practice the craft.

ETA: Enjoyed most of them, to my surprise, well done all.
 
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Kylabelle

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Hey, Elsye, thanks for voting! and for chiming in here.

As for looking at the votes of poets versus non-poets I think that might be pretty hard to do, because I know of two who entered who have said they haven't written poetry for a long time, until this, so, how do you decide who is not a poet?

ETA: Though I supposed it could be done just along the lines of who entered and who did not.
 
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Sarita

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Picked the winner, a sweary one and a melancholy one. I'm no poet and from a purely nerdy perspective I would love to see how the voting of bumpkins like myself compared to those who practice the craft.

ETA: Enjoyed most of them, to my surprise, well done all.
Thanks so much for coming by and for voting! I love that so many others came through to read what we've been writing.
As for looking at the votes of poets versus non-poets I think that might be pretty hard to do, because I know of two who entered who have said they haven't written poetry for a long time, until this, so, how do you decide who is not a poet?

ETA: Though I supposed it could be done just along the lines of who entered and who did not.
Great question. This was my first poem since... Geez... 2008. And I don't feel like that's right, but that's right. Ugh.
 

Kylabelle

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Sarita, you done good, hon. :greenie

And also, I might add, there are some very fine poets among us who did NOT enter but who may have voted, and one at least who definitely did vote (Cass) so dividing along that line (of who did and did not enter) wouldn't work at all, in terms of discovering if poets voted differently than "non-poets".

My dad, rest his soul, was a magnificent musician and one of the things he did amazingly well was teach voice. He taught people to sing. He taught that everyone can sing, that anyone can learn to match pitches so there is no such thing as tone deafness, etc.

I am coming to similar points of view in terms of poetry. There are some for whom it feels foreign and who believe they can't and who don't care to, etc., but I am about to conclude that underneath, everyone is a poet.

Shoot me now.
 

CassandraW

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Sarita, you done good, hon. :greenie

And also, I might add, there are some very fine poets among us who did NOT enter but who may have voted, and one at least who definitely did vote (Cass) so dividing along that line (of who did and did not enter) wouldn't work at all, in terms of discovering if poets voted differently than "non-poets".

My dad, rest his soul, was a magnificent musician and one of the things he did amazingly well was teach voice. He taught people to sing. He taught that everyone can sing, that anyone can learn to match pitches so there is no such thing as tone deafness, etc.

I am coming to similar points of view in terms of poetry. There are some for whom it feels foreign and who believe they can't and who don't care to, etc., but I am about to conclude that underneath, everyone is a poet.

Shoot me now.

I shall not shoot you, but I don't agree that everyone is a poet. I told you I was horrible.

Some see metaphor and imagery everywhere, have a natural feel for meter and language, and some do not. Some take care in choosing just the right words and devices, and some do not. Some recognize these things in a poem when they see them, go mining for them, delight in finding them -- and for others, they might as well not be there at all. I think it's possible to have someone have a natural feel for poetry, and yet not pick up a pen (though, gaah! write a poem!). I also think it's possible for someone to spit verses out like watermelon seeds and not be a poet. Like I said, I'm horrible.

I think some don't give a damn about poetry at all -- or are intimidated by it. Others appreciate nice rhyme and meter, a catchy sound and idea. Still others examine every word and how every nuance of it plays into that line and the poem as a whole. turn every metaphor inside out, and pore over the images to see every angle and facet. I am assuming everyone who cared enough to vote would fall into the latter two categories, that some poets fall into both -- but that more poets are likely to fall into the last category than non-poets.

Me, I want a purpose to every rhyme, every word, every bit of alliteration, and to the meter itself -- and I want them all to work together without a false note or extra word. I want the thing to hit me at a visceral level, to rouse emotion in me -- and I want all of the details to back that up on every read. When all of that works, I'm blown away.

The hardest part for me is to weigh two very different poems against one another when both of them work perfectly on their own terms.

Anyway. I'm guessing that most of the people who delve into a poem and analyze it to bits likely write poetry themselves (or have at some point). And I'm guessing that by virtue of picking poems to pieces, they're likely to see different things and thus have different favorites than those who don't.

Despise me if you must. Feel free to spank me.

ETA:

I could have summed that up in one sentence: Poets likely notice craft more than non-poets. Definitely, I should be spanked.

ETA:

I guess that's two sentences.
 
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Kylabelle

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I *want* everyone to be a poet.

:)

ETA: And I should have said, everyone has the innate capacity to be a poet. My dad sure would not have said everyone is a musician, just that anyone could be and that music is fundamentally innate.

So I am saying that the capacity for poetry is also fundamentally (take note of that word please) innate.

Sure, you betcha, most people are intimidated or bored by poetry and what may be worse, and probably because of that, some people think they are damn fine poets when all they are willing to do is write treacly doggerel.

Still, humans are educable, if they are willing. No one is unable to write poetry, if they are willing to learn something about the language they use as they use speech and their senses, and practice a bit of technique.
 
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CassandraW

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I would like that, too.
 

Kylabelle

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Go back and read my edit. Don't want to waste it. :greenie
 

jst5150

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Congrats to everyone who had the courage to enter and be judged.
 

Katol

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Hey, Elsye, thanks for voting! and for chiming in here.

As for looking at the votes of poets versus non-poets I think that might be pretty hard to do, because I know of two who entered who have said they haven't written poetry for a long time, until this, so, how do you decide who is not a poet?

ETA: Though I supposed it could be done just along the lines of who entered and who did not.

I think that anyone who writes a poem, is a poet - or at least the poet of that poem. I haven't written a poem for four years due to personal stress (a lot of bereavement) and then suddenly, and maybe unreasonably, I write something that people like. Now, does the four year break make me a lesser poet than other people? I don't know. All I know is that I probably gained a few votes (if not more than a few) from non-poets because my "stuff" isn't well, very professional. I have a bit of a bad conscience that I have won this as, reading through some comments, I feel it's led to a discussion about who can call themselves a poet and who not. Or at least a discussion as to who would a REAL poet vote for and who would an non-poet vote for....
 

ElaineA

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I think that anyone who writes a poem, is a poet - or at least the poet of that poem. I haven't written a poem for four years due to personal stress (a lot of bereavement) and then suddenly, and maybe unreasonably, I write something that people like. Now, does the four year break make me a lesser poet than other people? I don't know. All I know is that I probably gained a few votes (if not more than a few) from non-poets because my "stuff" isn't well, very professional. I have a bit of a bad conscience that I have won this as, reading through some comments, I feel it's led to a discussion about who can call themselves a poet and who not. Or at least a discussion as to who would a REAL poet vote for and who would an non-poet vote for....
Though I saw all the Vote-Bot encouragement, I didn't mosey over to the thread to vote because I honestly feel I'm in no position to judge poetry. I certainly have little or no capacity to write it. But I'll say this, when I read your poem today, Katol, my body reacted before my brain, and when I read the final word, it was through the blur of tears. I read it a second time to see why. I had a smile on my face while reading it the first time, and the second time, too, and yet, the prickle intensified. So as an infrequent reader (and unforgivable writer) of poetry, all I can say is that the absolute best thing any writer--in any genre or form--can do is elicit emotion.

I admire you all, for putting your work out there, and for 26 brave and lovely works.
 

Kylabelle

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Nah, we have these discussions frequently. Your poem was actually quite good, I believe, and humor is not at all easy to pull off, in poetry (or anywhere, really). So, don't knock it. :)

The structure of your verses was tight and flowing at the same time. Nothing read as though it was forced; everything fit beautifully. You deserved a win! though I personally voted for others (and as most of us have said it was a group of good pieces so not voting for one or another is not a comment on quality I don't believe.)

ETA: Crossed with Elaine, my post is addressed to Katol.
 
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Chrissy

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Disclaimer: I am not a poet.

With a few of the poems, I felt some of what Cass was referring to about use of words, use of rhyme, use of meter (I don't know the rules but certain collections of beats sound very "right" to me--musical but not nursery-rhymish), use of imagery/metaphor, etc.

For example, my 1st place choice was William's (and I figured it was William's but, damnit, I picked it anyway :greenie) because every single one of the aforementioned qualities was exhibited in that poem, plus there was a story/action/things happening; there was emotion, but not too much; and there was a gut punch. More than one, actually. Those plusses, for me, turned the poem into more than a well-executed stringing together of words. In other words, it's not just word mastery, for me. There's got to be meat to the thing.

Many of the other poems had many of these qualities, which made the choices for 2nd and 3rd so hard. I picked Dear Sir for 2nd, because I couldn't deny the grin on my face, how much I was nodding along with Harold's opinion (damn straight!), and the use of the dialect. It was just hella fun.

My 3rd place choice didn't place, but it was Personal Space. It had nice rhythm, I liked the juxtaposition of many of the words, and it reminded me of my OCD and my childhood and the only thing is, I really need to know: what does "Barbarella's coming" mean???
 

Kylabelle

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This "not a poet" thing is epidemic. I seem to recall, Chrissy, something of yours on the latest Poetry Prompt that I quite liked.

Just sayin'....
 

Chrissy

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Aw thank you Kyla. I guess I mean my comments should not be taken to mean I have any authority on the subject. :greenie

But I do like the idea of poet potential in everyone.

And I again thank all the poets for the pleasure of reading. Honestly, I would participate as a reader and voter in monthly contests! It's truly enjoyable. :)
 

CassandraW

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I am absolutely with Kyla to this degree -- I think many people who do have innate understanding of poetry (even if they don't write it) label themselves as "I'm no poet" or "I don't really do poetry, but..." On my most recent poem, I got more than a dozen reps and PMs from people who told me they didn't comment in the thread because they weren't poets and they thought their comments were lame -- and then they went on to make comments as intelligent as any in the thread! (e.g., Chrissy, your comment required no disclaimer at all.)

I don't think everyone is a poet, but I do agree that many people have much more innate understanding (and maybe even talent, if they'd give it a try) than they give themselves credit for.

That said, yes, I do think that if you read lots of poetry -- and especially if you write poetry yourself and really work at it -- you are likely to come to notice and appreciate some subtle elements of craft that those less (heh) well-versed might miss. But I did not intend that as a diss on any of the poems or people here. I just would have found it interesting to see how those votes stacked up. I think our voters were fairly equally divided between contest entrants/poets and "non-poets", right?
 
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Kylabelle

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Well, we had 26 entrants and five of those did not vote, so 21 of the votes were us'ns. There were what, 59 total votes? I guess it's fair to say that probably roughly half of that total were not people who consider themselves poets....

I am always interested in the responses of those who are less actively involved with poetry, may say "I am not a poet" or "I could never write poems" etc. because they are the people I wish would take MORE interest, and so how they respond to poems is kinda like data, what did they like and not like, what moved them to respond, etc.

In this contest on first glance at the winning poems, my thought was, "Oh, people want stories (poems with engaging or easily identifiable narratives, which not all poems have) and they want to be entertained (perhaps more than be stimulated in new ways)".

Of course this is highly scientific and easily replicable and y'all can take it to the bank. :greenie
 

CassandraW

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Well, we had 26 entrants and five of those did not vote, so 21 of the votes were us'ns. There were what, 59 total votes? I guess it's fair to say that probably roughly half of that total were not people who consider themselves poets....

I am always interested in the responses of those who are less actively involved with poetry, may say "I am not a poet" or "I could never write poems" etc. because they are the people I wish would take MORE interest, and so how they respond to poems is kinda like data, what did they like and not like, what moved them to respond, etc.

In this contest on first glance at the winning poems, my thought was, "Oh, people want stories (poems with engaging or easily identifiable narratives, which not all poems have) and they want to be entertained (perhaps more than be stimulated in new ways)".

Of course this is highly scientific and easily replicable and y'all can take it to the bank. :greenie

Yes, this is one reason it would be interesting.

I'm guessing that a storyline, a regular beat of some kind, and rhymes are something that non-poets as well as poets can appreciate. Such a poem could easily appeal to a wide audience.

I'm guessing that some other poems have a more subtle craft thing going on that is more likely to be seized upon by poets than by non-poets.

And of course, a poem could have all of that going on at once.

Truly, I hadn't been aiming a diss at anyone. But, just as a wine connoisseur with years of experience tasting wine is likely to pick up subtle tastes that might well be missed by the person who, once a month or so, picks up a bottle of merlot, I think people who regularly immerse themselves in poetry will often pick up some extra nuance in a poem. But just as both the wine connoisseur and the occasional tippler might both love (or hate) a particular bottle of wine, the poet and the non-poet might well love (or hate) the same poem.


ETA:

apropos of nothing but wine, and thus a derail -- at a wine tasting once, the guy manning the table described a wine as having a tasting note "like gasoline, but in a good way." I thought he was insane, but after a couple of tastes, and thinking about it, I saw what he meant. It remains my all-time favorite comment on a wine.

I suppose by analogy, it's fun to have someone make a comment on a poem you hadn't thought of when you read it, but when you brood on it, you see exactly what he meant.
.
 
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Kylabelle

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I agree. Except about the rhyme. Lots of self-professed "non-poets" of my acquaintance will say they do not like rhyming poems.

I think lots of people are intimidated by poetry and feel that if they offer an opinion they will be judged. They may be right, too, sometimes people do get judged and it can be pretty, erm, snooty. I hasten to say that you are NOT doing that. But you know what I mean I bet.

I also agree about the subtleties that those who spend more time with poems learn to observe and appreciate. I have the idea though that if a poem bases all its strength in that kind of thing, it falls short. IMO the best poetry does all that with subtleties and sound and reference and layers, but on the surface of it it needs to be enticing to someone who can, yanno, read and follow along. That's actually a pretty high standard. I don't even try to shoot for it all the time; it's challenging enough to try to hold the poem to the standard of each word, each choice being true to the whole of it....
 
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