16 December 2013

countdown to new year's: round 1 winners

Countdown to New Year's: Round 1 Winners
And the winners are ...
 
ROUND 1, DAY 1

John Donne
Jean Toomer
Jorge Luis Borges

This round saw one unanimous winner in John Donne! Shakespeare, famed bard though he may be, lost out three to one in his date with Borges. Toomer and Cowper actually tied when it came to votes, so a coin toss decided the winner was "T" for tails ... and Toomer.

ROUND 1, DAY 2

E.A. Markham
Christopher Okigbo
Mbembe Milton Smith

Both Markham and Okigbo beat their competitors with votes of three to one. Mbembe Smith and Lawrence Ferlinghetti tied with two votes a piece; a coin toss determined the winner, and old Washington's head tilted in Mbembe's favor.

ROUND 1, DAY 3

William Waring Cuney
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Rainer Maria Rilke

Two poets earned unanimous votes of approval on day three: both Cuney and Rilke swept their competitors with three to nothing votes! Today's "dark horse" was Dr. Seuss, whose unlikely yet fun place among these poets saw him charming his audience (including me!) to a two-to-one win. (Side bar: It's almost too bad Shakespeare didn't advance with Seuss ... it would have been very interesting to see them on a date together!)

ROUND 1, DAY 4

Oliver Goldsmith
Kenneth Koch
Bob Kaufman

The day four winners were each determined by the toss of a coin!

Day four voting also came with a bonus question about Bob Kaufman and Thomas Gray's date: Why did they ride the Ferris wheel together first, and then opt to go in the order they chose? The answer is multifaceted. First, I personally don't think Kaufman and Gray would much care for each other. Their ride together was a chance to isolate them and their seemingly contrary natures together. Second, in reading both poets' works, Kaufman seemed the more "lively" personality, which--at least in my mind--made him a "better" choice to go first and dispel some of his energy. Third, Gray seemed a more quiet, thoughtful poet, which made him seem better suited for closing out the evening in a calm, deliberate manner. And finally (and this one is really based more in just a personal imagining): I invite you to go read a bit more about Thomas Gray. Once you do, ask yourself: What do you think Thomas would have thought of a Ferris wheel? Personally, I imagine he would have hated it ... if not been at least moderately terrified. So I gave him a little extra time on the ground to "settle" after the first ride with Bob.

So there you have it! I invite you to go back and read the poems of the winners again; this week, we'll be spending more time with the poems, which means looking at specific lines and phrases to help determine the Round 2 winners! The Round 2 dates start tomorrow, and will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with winners announced on Saturday!

Your Turn: Of the twelve poets listed above, which would you like to see paired up? Who do you think has the best chances of moving forward? Who may have gone all the further they can in the challenge? Share your thoughts in the comments below! (And yes, these count toward your entries into the final book drawing!)

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Relive Round One of the 2013 Our Lost Jungle Countdown to New Year's!:

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