Poetry Friday: “A Lesson in Brevity”

As I mentioned on Tuesday, the world’s biggest children’s poetry competition is underway, and I hope you’ve been following it! (If not, you can learn more HERE)

Once again, I am out in the first round – not sure how that always happens – but I do know my competitor, Alison Dellenbaugh, wrote a cute little poem about Bigfoot that won the hearts of the voters, and I wish her well as she moves on to round 2!

Madness!Poetry, as the contest is called, is a bracketed competition similar to sports brackets, where we start off with 64 teams (or in this case, “authletes”), and after the first round that number is whittled down to 32…then 16…then 8…and 4…until we have two finalists vying for the championship.

So today I thought I’d share the poem I wrote – since I’m out of contention, I’m a spectator now, without the pressure of having to create a winning poem with some random word in 36 hours. I was given the word “behemoth,” and when I thought about how it’s a word meaning some giant ‘thing,’ I immediately thought of an old tale we all know…

A Lesson in Brevity

A young lad named Jack cultivated legumes,
which germinated thaumaturgically.
He met a behemoth hungry for bones
who tried to remove them non-surgically.
Jack quickly absconded down tall vegetation
and thought he might nearly prevail –
but poor dear old Jack was a sesquipedalian
and took too long telling his tale.

– © 2017, Matt F. Esenwine, all rights reserved

I had a feeling that my abundant use of verbose language might be my undoing, but once I nailed down my plan – and punchline – I knew I was going to need to pull out the trusty ol’ thesaurus. And win or lose, I really liked how the poem turned out, and that was the important thing to me.

So be sure to check out all the action (and vote!) at the Madness!Poetry website, and if you’re looking for more poetry, visit Michelle H. Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty for the complete Poetry Friday roundup!


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33 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “A Lesson in Brevity”

  1. Too bad, Matt. I was looking forward to another round from you this year! I wonder if you had used a more obvious title (referencing Jack and the Beanstalk) if you would have gotten a better response…? I have a feeling the kids didn’t even know you were retelling a familiar story because they were too hung up on the big words. Still, you win the Roget cleverness award!


  2. I’m sharing my poem today, too, Matt! It’s a fun tournament! And there were so many great poems out there! I’m pleased to have participated and competed… someone’s got to go out first, right? I liked your tongue twisting, dictionary toting behemoth!


  3. lindabaie

    I liked your poem, Matt, & voted for it! It’s a mystery as to which poems move people, and which do not so much. Anyway, I’m glad you were there in the competition!


  4. It sounds like you came out a winner regardless of the vote! I did, too as I just spent some time looking up words and expanding my vocabulary. Thanks for sharing your impressive effort!


  5. Ah HA! I feel so silly……it took me some extra careful LOOKING at the top of your blog to figure out how to comment. I haven’t been able to figure out that simple thing for way too long. I do appreciate a lover of words. My love of words has been my undoing as well. The big words are just so fun! Sorry you got knocked out but awed by your panache for trying. Great poem….I mean come on, “non-surgically?” wow!


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