Poetry competition CLOSED 1st February 2021 6:34pm
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RUNNER-UP: eswaller


Classic Corner Championship: Female Division

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 11288

Poetry Contest

Queen of the Classics, 2020

Co-hosted by Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze

Welcome to our second annual Classic Corner Champion Female Division challenge, of which the winner will be crowned our 2020 Queen of the Classics and will be awarded a specially designed trophy as well as be featured across our website and social network accounts with links back to your DU profile.

Firstly, while any DU member may enter ( as long as they adhere by the guidelines ), only participants of the Classic Corner Comps qualify to receive any award. If your name is on the lists below, you qualify!

Female qualifyers:


Male qualifyers:


Secondly, wait ... why the two lists above?

We want you to feel comfortable participating in the comp of your choice. If you are on either list, but identify with being a female, then this is your comp.

If you identify with being male, then only submit entries to the Male Division comp posted by JohnnyBlaze here:


Thirdly, you are allowed to submit a maximum of 2 entries emulating any of the classic/modern poets that have been featured during the year 2020 ( make certain they've been featured! ).

We will judge which is the best of your two entries to ensure that three individuals have an opportunity to qualify for the Crown and placements.

Fourthly, what does it mean to emulate? We want YOU to make everyone believe your poem was written by one of these poets. Write as though you were that poet!

Lastly. . .

The Rules

1. Two entries per DUP persona allowed. Keep this thread clean of everything but entries until after the awards announcement is made. Comment on entries directly to the member's page if you feel moved to. Post any questions or concerns about the comp in the Classic Corner Discussion thread @

2. No extreme erotica*; this is open to all ages and can't be viewed with an ECW ( Extreme Content Warning ). * Extreme Erotica would be considered visual imagery which would depict any type of sexual activity as well as the direct naming of body parts, i.e. - nipples, pussy, cock, et al.

3. No exact word limit; however, attempt to keep it no more than 250 - 300 ( UNLESS the inspirational poem is longer ).

4. Any form is acceptable ( but studying the poet is advised ). This includes visual and spoken word pieces.    

5. You must select the name of your chosen poet/s in your themes. All previous Classic Corner poets have themes created, and thus your entries will be added to those pages.

6. In your Author's note, provide the poem title ( even if the title of your poem is the same as the inspirational poems ) as well as a link to the poem ( not website ) by your chosen poet that inspired yours. Without this, we have no way of determining if you were truly inspired by the poet, or simply swapped fresh words into her existing poetry and form, which could be considered plagiarism.

7. You may edit your entry up until the moment the competition closes and is locked for judging. Then it's out of our hands; please don't message with corrections once the comp has closed.

Comp will be judged by Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze.

You have one month; best of luck to all entrants!

If you have any questions, please post them to the Classic Corner Discussion thread in the Speakeasy forum:


Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 476

The New Faces (Old To New)

From old to new did mankind pass,
shedding all the woes gone past;
longing for what they once knew,  
breaking down what lay askew.  
In setting fire to yesterday's ills  
and hoping fate will fortune spill;  
we give our lives new meaning, yet  
spare ourselves from all regret.  
But what did we, in sanity renew --  
our fate not lost: how we so grew;  
leading ever towards a place  
would not today recall its face.  
And in that face a ghostly air  
to trick the watch; in time repair  
our dusty footsteps where we'll find  
the shadows of all we left behind.  

(a non-entry)
Written by PoetsRevenge
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 476

I Look At The World (The Higher Road)

I seek to find
the higher road;
in country wide I roam.
But where to find
without bein' blind
a better way to go,

O, a better way to go!

When all around
our dreams lie bound
by fences and corrals;
on paths we walk
comrades who talk
of freer times than now,

O, of freer times than now!

I cannot see
nor feel their pull,
oppressed though they
in joy are masked --
all our wills defy this still:
the better road we lack,

O, the better road we lack!


(a support non-entry)
Written by PoetsRevenge
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 476

The Gorgeous Dream

'If you must know anything,    
know that you were born  
 because no one else was coming'    
          - Ocean Vuong    
you know you always escape a day    
we never made -- but how    
I would find you in every crushing second    
I wanted to die    
there, looking up at your dire ascent from    
these clouds billowing above where I lie;    
I never caught you still but blurry;    
lines faded against the backdrop sky,    
your flashing glance enrobing my horror    
of imagining you blown aloft    
after gently unfolding -- love    
can be that way.    
I'm too immature to fly    
like you, rapid fire, the bullet-    
laden sky is what I shrink from.    
Sky falling; pale-honey, oozing.    
I cannot reach you, of that    
I can be sure; thin air consumes me --    
how is it that you are immune to greatest    
heights and folly and every glimpse of    
Heaven which illumimates a real hell.    
How can every storm which propels    
you away be your salvation?    
I wonder, shall I become the next genesis    
of this or a tempest which lifts    
the gorgeous dream of us only to jettison it away?    
Your wing-smack is silent, but my throat    
cannot be.    
Love in flight can be that way.    
I hear it blowing up -- my inner demolition:    
I try to fly.    
Why, every time you can't hear me,    
in the grasses you breed and brood    
in a dense cocoon I can't permeate    
under a sun I wanted to become    
so I could read you:    
each color-speck a word; unintelligible,    
flapping in repetition, garbled.    
I didn't want to learn this way, I wanted    
to unlearn your language --    
I wanted to say, lets just run    
away: sky caving in    
on a cataclysm of our destiny,    
our outcome    
where we become the plans    
we lay, prepare for
One day, a friend and I, we ran    
so hard our clothes fell off --    
I forgot who came first when I wanted    
to wear yours.    
I forgot who, between us was more    
beautiful; that I never was, but you    
How can a person in constant motion    
and recession from view not be?    
I see it becoming a speck    
of who I was yesterday:    
today, I am more like you    
but in flight, not still;    
yellow-wings framed in black,    
streetcorner walker, flier,    
flower with no name.    
Unless the name is promise, I won't    
try to translate it.    
I won't give it my own name, that way    
it will burn to nothing as it    
withers and fades --    
it will be what we, alone remember,    
nothing else, and it will eat    
its own words like a moth eats    
its cocoon so it can fly to free    
I behold the terror of freedom    
and forget why love must endure this    
to approach itself.    
An event horizon:  letting go.    
Written by PoetsRevenge
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Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 11288

The Lost Books

The news announced the sinking ship;
water pushing its metal hull
off a gangplank of the straight
until it crumbled as crystal over rock

Planes spotted flotsam and jetsam
—pinched debris riding a caterpillar
of watery waves inching across the sea—
its waterlogged bite engorged
from strewn pages as leaves
sinking into a survivorless

Below, a commandeered army
—a delegation of new ghosts
manifesting posthumously
because sometimes Poseidon reads
while sitting peacefully at his desk—
allowing bullet and bomb to rest

Maybe this is why I fear dark water;
the unknown can appear a monster
—a Kraken, released upon humanity
for polluting harmony

We deserve it, so I maintain distance
from cruise lines and large bodies
concealing a congress of secrets—
because I know what's waiting

My father told me once
The ocean, he said, is like Vietnam
it never releases its dead
once asunder

He'd seen too much. . .
rivers swallowing blood
  — their deltas ceaseless
in supply and demand

There's nowhere to hide
he added, bodies become bait

Ah, but words,
he said, words are safe
—having survived centuries
of conflict and death. . .

and most knew the other's
last ones, to be delivered to family
should they be recaptured by dust

It is true,  [y]ou will always remember
what you were doing
when it hurts the most;

but, what's worse
is not being able to forget
Written by Ahavati
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non-entry entry

Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 22nd Dec 2015
Forum Posts: 706

There Goes My Heart

Pitter patter
goes my heart
every time I see you.

Take what belongs
to you - the heart
moving with
every breath
and word spoken
So eloquently.

All I yearned for
was simplicity
and easiness.

The heart never
loses its shape
nor its color
as it never stops
its birdlike or drum
like consistency.

It never stops its
path to freedom.
Written by eswaller
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 476

Motherhood (Borderline)

'I mean to live'  
    - Ai Ogawa  
Under a burning sun  
hot as the sand we walk on;  
his doe-eyes red,  
dry lips thirsty,
we escaped. I knew it  
had to be, and his father:  
I sliced him down the middle  
before we left -- a perfect parting  
of his powder-white innards  
slipping from their secret bag  
and scattering where I left him.  
Now we walk the low terrain  
instead of running  
along a high mountaintop ridge,  
looking down.  
He looks down at us now,  
blue nascent ruler  
whose bags I carry,  
filling me inside.  I know  
he can always see me --  
a vulture can fly anywhere.  
The metal edge dividing us  
won't cut through his scales  
where he reaches across  
my borders superseding all  
confining limits.  
My eyes close.  
I see the razors on round wires:  
the new god cutting into my arms  
in long slashes; A prayer.  
Its better this way, I think, the boy  
will be rescued --  
I am a stone around his neck  
I am his thirst.  
His oasis is beyond the snake trails  
where snakes emerge.  
I dreamed of an elaborate  
mansion made of the hills,  
many peopled,  
adorned in all the colors  
our natural dyes could create:  
fringy caftans flowed around  
smiling mothers;  
hair in braids, eyes squinting at me --  
who is she, one of us?  
She must die with us to be made  
tribeswoman. She must run  
through our rocks as rivers  
pouring red courage.  
It was a mirage.  
I hear a snake rustling --  
he flits and hisses, or is it she;  
it burrows, tunneling for cover.  
We don't get a tunnel, we get  
hunger; we are empty even when full  
as a snake after it swallows  
a meal.  White hunger.  
Unable to be found.  
In the dark I found out why:  
I want to live, but can't.  
Written by PoetsRevenge
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Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 5570

CCComp Peeps, the clock is a tock ticking. Less than 24 hours remains! And if you've already entered, be sure to double check your entry(s) for errors and to make sure everything adheres to the guidelines.

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 11288

A huge THANK YOU! to those who paid tribute to the poets featured in our Classic Corner challenges these past 12 months.

Call it emulation, we seek the essence of the classic author in the entrant's own style - not just replacing words of existing poems, but writing as though they WERE those writers!

Our Classic Corner Champions, as we like to refer to them, work HARD, and it shows in their writing. They study and deliver fresh, inspired poetry. We recognize that effort and award accordingly, judging other factors on a scale of 1-5 including but not limited to spelling, grammar, punctuation, form, and content. The most important question we ask ourselves is this:  did we feel like we were reading a classic poet?

All that being said, congratulations to the following winners of the Second Annual Classic Corner Championship Female Division.

Queen and First Place: The Gorgeous Dream by PoetsRevenge

It was excrutiating choosing between the above and Motherhood—both were so personally relatable to me. Vuong's work speaks to me through my father and motherhood, well. . .at any rate, both pieces were amazing entries, PR. We appreciate your dedication and commitment to the CCC, but most of all, to the featured poets. You truly give your heart to study and emulation, and it shows.

Congratulations on retaining your current rule as Queen of the Classics!

Queen's Court & Second Place: There Goes My Heart by eswaller

Elena it was so good to see you in this comp. You have carved your own unique style and voice throughout the years I have watched you grow as a poet here on DU. I loved how you personified the human heart,  in that it always beats toward freedom. It never gives up regardless of our human circumstance.

Congratulations on placing second! We hope to see you back again.

Congratulations to everyone for quality entries; thank you again for honoring the classics.  We hope to see you in next year's Classic Corner Champion challenges beginning June 1st, 2021 where we honor W.H. Auden and Margaret Atwood!

And don't forget - registration for NaPoWrimo 2021 begins March 1st!

Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 476

I'm really honored to retain the crest of Queen of the Classics, I do feel for all poets and I wanted to put my heart as far into my poems as the famous poets have, and emulate them at the same time.  Elena's poem really sums up that heartfelt honesty in emulating Rita Dove, she was one of my surprise favorites, congrats, Elena,  you described the heart so well.  I'm so glad there is such a great interest shared here, I appreciate all the competition and critiques, an amazing learning experience it's been reading all of them this past year.  I do feel like the poetry world is a kind of family, maybe that's an idealism, but it's one that teaches and accepts with no judgement or boundaries.  I hope, in the coming year, as poets we can continue to enlighten and entertain a troubled world with hope in our own words, be them frank or symbolic, both light and dark, and always honest.  I really look forward to resuming the Classic Corner comps in a couple months, and I hope to see everyone there

I want to thank Johnny and Ahavati for their dedication as hosts and amazing attention to detail throughout your inventive Classic comps series.  It means alot to have the little details noticed and reflected upon, and corrected at times.  I also want to thank the Mistress for supporting this project and setting up the theme pages for our continued contribution and use.  It means alot and is so helpful to have that support and encouragement continually, I can't fully explain it, but:

“What can be explained is not poetry.”

— William Butler Yeats

Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 22nd Dec 2015
Forum Posts: 706

I am honored that my piece was chosen at runner up/2nd palace. I echo PoetsRevenge‘s above comments. These competitions have helped me grow and learn as I go along. I have been finding my own voice and style of writing. I have never heard of half of these poets (besides Langston Hughes and Lord Byron). I really appreciate Johnny and Ahavati so much. Onto the next one. Thank you!

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 5570

There were so many great female classic poets this year to choose from: Brooks, Ai, Dove . . .

PR and Elena, you both did your choices great justice, and thank you for making the CCComps  successful with inspired entries as always.

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 11288

It's our pleasure, PoetsRevenge & Elena. As long as there is one member as dedicated and committed to improving your poetry as you guys, we will continue with these classics.


Less than one month before registration!

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