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Poetry Madness: Round Three Recap

No one would say that Round Three of Poetry Madness was easy. Yeats showed the invisible scars of battle when he surveyed the damage done in his quest for Round Four and cried out: "I sing what was lost and dread what was won."

Showing none of Yeats's turmoil, the indefatigable Emily Dickinson pushed a damp lock of hair behind her ear and — without even glancing at Sylvia Plath, who lay weeping in the corner — strode briskly into her spot in the Elite Eight, calling out to her trembling new opponent:

How many bullets bearest?
The royal scar hast thou?
Angels, write 'Promoted'
On this soldier's brow!

In the Living, Mary Oliver proved that she would fight A Thousand Mornings if it meant making it to the Championship round, thrashing Anne Carson in the process. Rita Dove bested Li-Young Lee, ensuring that, at least tonight, Lee would be Eating Alone.

On our home turf, Roethke informed fellow Pacific Northwest poet Mary Szybist that "death of the self in a long, tearless night" would be the only thing stopping him from facing off against Tess Gallagher in the next bout. Baudelaire voiced his desire to "always be drunk" once the bracket ended, but not before securing his place ahead of Anna Akhmatova. And Rilke... poor Rilke. After losing out to Neruda, he turned to the jeering crowds that filled the aisles of Powells.com and whispered to himself "Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us."

Who will be left standing in the Final Four? Only your votes can save these poets (and us) from descending any deeper into Poetry Madness.

Round Three Results:

Mary Oliver – 59.0%
Anne Carson – 41.0%

Rita Dove – 54.9%
Li-Young Lee – 45.1%

Emily Dickinson – 62.5%
Sylvia Plath – 37.5%

Elizabeth Bishop – 43.2%
W. B. Yeats – 56.8%

In Translation
Anna Akhmatova – 42.3%
Charles Baudelaire – 57.7%

Rainer Maria Rilke – 45.5%
Pablo Neruda – 54.5%

Pacific Northwest
Matthew Dickman – 37.3%
Tess Gallagher – 62.7%

Theodore Roethke – 78.2%
Mary Szybist – 21.8%


Books mentioned in this post

  1. The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats:... Used Trade Paper $10.95
  2. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
    Used Trade Paper $9.50
  3. A Thousand Mornings
    New Hardcover $24.95
  4. New Poets of America Series #0009: Rose Used Trade Paper $8.95
  5. The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke Used Trade Paper $5.95
  6. Fleurs Du Mal Used Trade Paper $11.00
  7. Letters to a Young Poet (Modern Library) New Hardcover $16.00

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