Last call for contest

Last week I announced an “ultraconserved words” poetry contest.  (If you missed it, read here.)  A quick re-cap:  write a poem using 15 of the 23 words that some linguists believe have been around since the end of the last ice age.  The words are: I, we, thou, ye, who, this, that, what, mother, male/man, not, worm, bark, hand, ashes, fireto give, to pull, to spit, to flow, and to hear.  Of course you can use any form of the verbs and singular or plural of the nouns.


I’m amending the contest.  First, I’m re-naming it a challenge, not a contest.  A contest should have a prize, and I don’t have a prize to give.  I’ve only received a handful of entries (all wonderful!), and so I’m able to post them all.  Also, entries only need to use ten of the words.  Fifteen seems a little much, although I’ve been impressed with what people have done so far.


So those are the rules and here’s a deadline:  by the end of the day June 1.  Sometimes a firm deadline is the best muse.


If you’ve never written a poem before, why not try?  Be brave–you’ve got nothing to lose.


Email entries to  And look for pictures of your poems posted next week!

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