Sunday, June 17, 2007

DPP11 results

Here, finally, after much delay, are the results of the voting in week 11 of the Daily Poem Project. This time, I was not waiting to see a tie get broken (or simply more votes be cast) in the blogger side of the vote; the problem was with the class vote.

In class on Friday, 14 votes were cast, with three poems receiving three each and two receiving two each. Not wanting to have yet another week in which the class vote did not result in one winner, I wrote to the two students who had not voted in class, as well as to the two students who had been absent, to ask them to help break the tie.

One of the absentees said he did not have time to vote, and one of the students who had not voted even though he had been in class sent me a vote — but it made the vote a four-way tie!

This morning, though, thankfully, I received a vote from the other absentee, who broke the tie and made After Persephone, by Tracy K. Smith, the winner of the class vote for this week.

But the bloggers disagreed: 12 votes were cast, with Hey You, by Adrian Blevins, receiving four votes as the winner. In second place with 3 votes came The Dark-Light of Spring, by Eric Leigh.

For me, many of these poems slip up for one moment, and that leaves them wanting. "Hinge of loss" is the line that slips up for me in Leigh. This may be unfair, because it is a longer poem, but that just means he has to maintain the right tone and diction and phrasing for longer, not that he's allowed to slip up.

Several other poems had similar moments, too. I was left with "Hey You": a deeply strange poem, but phrased just right, and with mysteries and puzzles that feel productive, implying that if I pursued them I would find something worthwhile.

The comments on the call for votes:

Bruce Loebrich's ranked list (my favorite is at the top):

76. The Dark-Light of Spring, by Eric Leigh
77. After Persephone, by Tracy K. Smith
74. 2:09 a.m. IM , by Janet Holmes
73. Hey You, by Adrian Blevins
71. There Is A Bird We Cannot See, by Molly Lou Freeman (only the first poem)
75. Bright World, by Carl Phillips
72. Paradise, by Arthur Smith

Felix wrote: "There Is A Bird We Cannot See" by M. L. Freeman is my favourite this week. It's a dark, yet powerful reflection on life and the intensities of living. The bird is, perhaps, a late echo of Keats's nightingale (also with respect to the sophisticated sound patterns of the poem).

Meanwhile, Thom Satterlee sent me an email that was so beautiful I asked him if I could post it and he gave me permission to do so:

'I vote for Paradise, by Arthur Smith. When I first read this poem, the day it appeared on PD, I knew it would be the one I'd vote for. I love what the poet is doing in this poem, making an impossible proposition ("I used to live there [in paradise]") believable through specific, surprising, musical detail. The way the first line speaks back to the title, I knew what Smith proposed to do in this poem--so I was never confused by it--and watched him put on his verbal show, a very nice one, I think. It's the sort of poem where the poet has worked hard to get everything right (the images, the lines, the tone of the speakers voice) so that the reader can relax and enjoy. I re-read the poem not to better understand it, but to enjoy it, the way you would re-watch a scene in a movie or enjoy an instant replay of a fine moment in a sport match.'

Week 10 results are here. A summary of the results of the first nine weeks is at the end of the week 9 results.

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