30 December 2012

countdown to new year's: round 4

Welcome to the fourth and final round of the Our Lost Jungle Countdown to New Year's competition. The pool of dead poet contestants has been whittled down from 24 contestants to just three ... and now comes the really hard part! Of the three phenomenal poets who have made it this far into the competition, only one can be declared the winner.

This fourth round is in your hands; the winner will be decided based on your votes and comments. And that's not all! One voter, who also leaves a comment (whether simply indicating her or his vote or explaining who he or she voted for) in the comment box, will also be a winner. Everyone who votes and leaves a comment, whether they select the ultimate winner or not, between now and noon Pacific Time (that's 3pm ET) tomorrow (Monday, December 31, 2012) will be entered into a raffle for a book by one of the three final contestants (in the case of Neruda and Senghor, a book of poetry; Bontemps would likely be either an anthology or a novel as much of his poetry is limited in contemporary circulation). The winner will be notified in the same post announcing the winner of the poet competition, and will have until Saturday, January 5, to get in touch with me to confirm and provide a shipping address! Good luck to you all!

And good luck to these poets:

Arna Bontemps (October 13, 1902 - June 4, 1973) 
Arna Bontemps, 1939, photographed by Carl Van Vechten
U.S. Library of Congress (Public Domain)

 Arna's "Reconnaissance" delivered winning strokes against the competitions other surprising poets, William Wordsworth, Dylan Thomas, and D.H. Lawrence; his victories helped support Kirkland C. Jones' claim that he was a poetic "Renaissance Man."

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 - September 23, 1973) 
Pablo Neruda, 1966, by U.S. Library of Congress
(Public Domain)

 Pablo's "Tie Your Heart at Night to Mine, Love" led him to victory against poets T.S. Eliot, Claude McKay, and Langston Hughes; it is hard to overlook Gabriel Garcia Marquez's description of him as the "greatest poet of the 20th century in any language."

Leopold Senghor (October 9, 1906 - December 20, 2001) 
Leopold Senghor, 1975, photographed by Roger Pic (1920-2001)
(Public Domain)

Leopold's "Night in Sine" helped him to defeat fellow poets Robert Browning, Shel Silverstein, and W.B. Yeats; early in the competition he was described by K. Anthony Appiah as a poet whose work represents "one of the models of African and Afro-Caribbean literary achievements."

Your Turn!
Cast your vote in the poll below! Don't forget to leave a comment in the comment box below* to also be entered to win your choice of a book by one of these three authors!

Which poet, through his work in this competition, has earned the New Year's Kiss Award?
pollcode.com free polls 
* Note: Please leave your comments on this page, not the Pollcode.com poll comment box. You can comment in both locations, but only comments on this site will be considered entries into the contest!

** CORRECTION: Thanks to S.E. Ingraham for catching a typo; you have until 3pm ET tomorrow (Dec. 31st) to vote, not 3pm today! (This has been corrected in RED above) 


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Check out every round of the Our Lost Jungle Countdown to New Year's!


  1. Oh my sweet Lord - not only did I miss the boat re where to post my comments (used the poll's form) - I didn't read the instructions well enough and post HERE by deadline - I live on the freakin' prairies! Practically on the lip of the Arctic Circle as I never seem to tire of saying (although now that I'm in a challenge with someone from Iceland who really does live a hair from there - I will prob shut up about it...) - Anyhow - saying how much I love Pablo's poem and because it seems somewhat different from much of his mushier stuff which I also love but this one, with its more somber tones and intent to "beat the darkness" and "black coal of dreams" and ending with "one door closed to shadow" - this is the Neruda I'd want to spend the night with ... Too bad I didn't think to say it in writing until 3 hours too late.

    1. Oye, actually ... You caught my typo! That should be noon (3pm ET) TOMORROW! Let me go ahead and change that. Thanks for catching that for me!!

  2. Oh sweet - you mean, I'm early? ahahaha - let me see if I can improve upon my entry ...

  3. This is so hard. I don't want to pick one because they are all great. I love how Senghor not only paints pictures in my mind but also creates a story and a mood. "let me learn to live/Before plunging deeper than the diver/Into the great depths of sleep." Talk about a perfect ending.

    And I love Bontemps' fronds of silence. The poem also ends wonderfully with "Where elements touch and merge/where shadows swoon like outcasts on the sand/and the tried moment waits, its courage gone--
    there were we/in latitudes where storms are born.

    But if we are talking romance, I also need to vote for Neruda's Tie Your Heart to Mine, Love. Every line of this poem works. What a way to woo a woman. (and by the way, how does one spell woo? Is that right?)

    1. You got the spelling right, Linda ... and the toughness! This is definitely no easy vote. (That's part of why I left it in your and others' hands, rather than my own!) :)

  4. That's funny. I find I am always spelling things wrong lately. Especially on FB. I am usually on in the wee hours of the night and am too lazy to spell check. (I hide in shame) ;-)

  5. Well - in the vein of continuing to screw up ... I voted again, thinking somehow in my disorganized brain that my previous vote was for the 3rd round !?! and that this one would be for the 4th. Much as I'd love for Neruda to win ... with the race being this close, I don't want him to win by me cheating so I'm just alerting you to my unintentional ballot-box stuffing. Did I mention Khara, you have the coolest ideas?

    1. Sharon, you've had me cracking up all day! These are exactly the same kinds of "mistakes" I make ... No worries, it's not hurting anything. Hopefully some more votes will come in, and as they do I'll just subtract one from Neruda's total. And thank you--I just decided I needed something else to do rather than mope over not having a date for New Year's Eve! Who needs men when you've got ... erm ... dead men? Something like that.

  6. I'm voting for Pablo for his first line: "Tie your heart at night to mine, love,and both will defeat the darkness." (swoon) Even though I abhor the word "orb" in a poem, I give him my new year's "kiss."

    Leopold could have had my vote if not for starting his poem with "Woman . . ." (insert command) and then again he tells her--woman, light the lamps. I do love how he uses language of time and senses. But, I really couldn't get past the furry hand phrase.So, he got a third place.

    Arna came in second with his quiet resolve but I was kind of left waiting for the impending storm. Not very romantic.

  7. I counted Senghor out on day one. "Woman, do this; Woman, do that" bah! Fine for poetry, but not for a date. If it were between him and Bontemps, Arna would win by a landslide. But I'm loving my man Pablo--a dream with one key, twin drums. No contest.


Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

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