The Poetry Contest
There once was a Poetry contest. The venue was a Country Club.
The competition consisted of twenty young Students about to embark on their
Undergraduate career, some Ivy League, some Community college while living at home.
Each with different filters and unique behavior. Different upbringings and Social expectations.
After submission of the required twenty minute essays, and rigorous evaluation of the submissions by an esteemed panel of judges over the period of a month, they discovered that, even in a 1000 point scoring system, the competition was tied. It was an absolute dead heat.
The two finalists were a blueblood favorite of the Country Club, no doubt destined for Harvard or Yale. The second was a lower middle class kid trying to rise to the top through circumstances like any young person. (think Caddyshack)
It was decided by the judges that they would draw straws to determine the order of presentation.
Upon drawing the straws, it was determined the lead presenter would be the Country Club’s darling boy, Sterling. Second, and final in this Winner take all battle, would be Danny, the kid from the neighborhood.
In a query that would rival any Final Jeopardy Question in history, the young men were presented the following challenge. Gentlemen, you have five minutes each to come up with the best poem you can create that contains the word, “Timbuktu”.
Initially Sterling seemed dumbfounded and quickly his look and demeanor turned to a kind of confident arrogance. Danny on the contrary looked confused, even a little bit scared.
Sterling was first to take the podium and delivered eloquently, evoking Robert Frost,
“I was wandering on this wondrous land,
I came upon a caravan,
I said that I would go with you,
If destiny were Timbuktu”
The room just erupted in applause. With a look of awe and worry, Danny said to the judges,
“Excuse me, I have my remarks prepared, but I need to use the facilities before I present”.
He said a quick prayer and from the Spirit herself came divine inspiration.
It was fitting that he was wearing his mountaineering gear as he stepped to the podium to and announced,
“Tim and I a hunting went,
We found three girls in a tent”
They were three and we were two
So I bucked one and TIMBUKTU.”-John Olander