Which Will It Be - 1, 2 or 3?

Well, yesterday I wrote my poem for the March Madness 2013 Poetry Tournament and submitted it late last night.  We had 36 hours to compose a poem using our given word.   Mine was "tincture".  My opponent's word was "dismissal".

The poems will be posted for voting on this afternoon and Thursday.  You just NEED to go there and vote for your favorite poems.  It will not only be fun, it will encourage poets to write poems!

It would be great if teachers could get their classes involved and have them vote from home even.  I know that sometimes it is a problem having classes vote at school, unless each student has their own computer there.  At the very least having your class read and discuss the poems would be wonderful and maybe having a class favorite vote on the poems.

Here are my attempts at "tincture"...ones that didn't make my cut.  In my first attempt, though I liked the internal rhyming and the pattern of the rhymes, I just didn't like the flow, and it seems like there would be way too many words for the kids reading it to decipher and retreat to dictionaries for.  It shows you and students that you don't have to go with what you got first, or even last.   Keep messing with it.  Sleep on it.  I slept the night between my first poem and the one I went with.  I wrote the third poem later in the evening, which I also discarded for the competition.  You can see how crazy this was!  I don't think I'll show you my page of notations from which I worked.  But I always have a notes page with jotted rhymes and extra words that I think might apply, most of which I never use.
So attempt 1 (in which I also use my opponent's word):

March Mutt
The juncture of seasons -
    leaves drippy dog hair and mud on your chair  
The tincture of reasons -
    gives puddles for wallowing, and skunks for following

The lecture of treasons -   
    warns behaviors like this’ll, be grounds for dismissal!

I do hope you don't like this one better than the one I submitted!  But rereading it, I do kind of like the thinking you have to do with it...


Attempt 2 was submitted.
Attempt 3: (Dismissal is in here, too!)

A Tincture

I know a smidgen isn’t much
And just a mite is less
I didn’t know what tincture meant
I really must confess -
They say it can be something like
The tint on painter’s bristle,
Or else it could be nothing much -
Deserving of dismissal.

And actually I have a different ending for it, too.  But this is quite enough for thought.  I was torn with my three poems.  But today you can see what I went with and make the decision yourself.  Did I pick the right one?  What do your students think?

Don't forget to vote on Wednesday and Thursday at www.thinkkidthink.com!


  1. Boy, hard words to work with...and the contest has just begun! Now I need to hustle over to see what you chose to submit.

    1. I can't believe the poems still aren't posted! There's more than a tincture of suspense here...

  2. So cool.... I went to vote only to find out that voting had been delayed so I'll go back later. I'll also refrain from letting you know which of your attempts was my favorite until I've read the one you've submitted. Excellent effort with the two I've read, though.

    1. Still delayed! Aaaah! I guess I'll check in in the morning!

  3. I think that tincture is a tough word, Donna. Funny how our process was similar, but I just have extra lines floating all over the place. I tried a completely different look for a while, but went nowhere so I dropped it. I like both of these so am now really interested in the one chosen. These are great!

    1. I am always fascinated with the process of writing, and especially poetry. Te revisions and editing are fun to go back and replay in my mind! Hope they post soon. Getting antsy to read some more! Yours was great!

  4. Tincture is certainly a challenging word. It sounds like you are enjoying the challenge though.

    1. I'm always happy with a challenge! Win or, more likely, lose, it is just fun to be in on the excitement!


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