NARRATOR: Peter and Marie have no idea which poem belongs to which contestant as they sample them.

[PETER looks at RANI’s poem. He reads it silently, rolling the words around in his mouth.]

PETER: It looks good, but…it’s got a soggy ending. The last stanzas just don’t hold up. Someone didn’t leave enough time and their ideas came out half-baked.

[RANI grimaces.]

MARIE: It is very close-textured, their word choice. I would have liked to see more feminine rhymes to help cut the sharp masculine flavor. And the meter just doesn’t have that smooth, flowing consistency that I’d like.

[PETER and MARIE move on to JASPER’s poem.]

MARIE: This one has a nice texture.

PETER: You see that bit there, in the middle? That’s raw verse. Completely undercooked poetry. I’m not gonna read it, it’ll make me sick.

[JASPER is nodding slowly, sadly. PETER and MARIE move on to LUCINDA’s poem.]

PETER: This looks good at first glance, let’s see what’s inside it.

MARIE: Lovely texture to the rhymes, and the meter is spot-on.

PETER: You can clearly see all the layers of meaning here. It stands up to Marxist, Freudian, even feminist readings. Delicious language, really well-done.

[LUCINDA is struggling to contain a gigantic smile as PETER and MARIE move onto MAX’s poem.]

MARIE: It’s a fine piece of poetry. But we asked for an alexandrine, in one of the classical forms, to be a part of your poem. This has only Hectian double dactyl.

PETER: It’s a good poem, but there’s no alexandrine. We can’t count it.

[MAX mines tearing out what little hair he has left.]

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