I’ll post the great eight matchups withÂ links toÂ the actual poems today.Â I would love some comments, so please don’t be shy.
10) Another Reason Why I Donâ€™t Keep A Gun In The House by Billy Collins vs. 3) Iâ€™m Nobody! by Emily Dickinson
This is a tough matchup.Â The Dickinson poem isÂ a perennial favorite with teenagers, and the kids at my school are no exception.Â The Collins poem has a sense of dark humor to it that also appeals to a younger audience, I think.Â How does one pick a winner?Â In this case I am going with context and Collins.Â Gun in the HouseÂ illustrates some of the difficulties of living in urban and suburban clusters.Â The theme of modern struggle seemed to resonate with this group this year.
I went back and forth on this one, but I chose the Codrescu poem to move to the Final Four because of a discussion the kids had that moved from my class to the lunchroom.Â It started with the idea that “blank fate” is an oxymoron.Â Another student arguedÂ that was redundancy, because all fates are blank.Â Only choice provides substance, and if we are all fated then we might as well “keep a gun in the house.”Â It was one of the best discussions I’ve seen out of students this year.
Love Rode 1500 Miles was a favorite of kids whose relationships exist electronically and they do not have to travel 1500 centimeters.Â In the end, Weird-Bird needed less weirdness and more substance for the students to have it move on.Â They enjoyed the humor, and the “go your own way” attitude, but Grahn’s piece was too strong.
A clash of varying technologies.Â In the end the older technology won out.Â I guess rock beats Pentium.