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Judging My Couplets Contest - L MILTON HANKINS's Blog

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I was born and raised in the south-central West Virginia. I graduated from Nuttall High School, Lookout, WV in 1959 and went off to Berea College, Berea, Kentucky. After my freshman year, I enlisted in the United States Air Force, where I served for four years in the beautiful state of Hawaii. While there, I attended Jackson College and the University of Hawaii.

Upon my return home to West Virginia, I married and had two exceptional children, Emily and Adam Hankins. Unfortunately, that marriage ended in divorce after about seven years. During those same years, I graduated from the University of Charleston, Charleston, WV, receiving my baccalaureate degree in history.

About this time, I published my first chapbook of poetry, The Lady in the Pink Hat. It was published by Candor Press in 1969.

(More recently) I obtained my master's and doctoral degees in Theology at Trinity Theological Seminary. I served churches in West Virginia, Ohio, and Virginia before retiring in 1997.  A compulsive writer, my poetry, articles, short stories, and theological writings have appeared in numerous national journals and periodicals, including Christian Century, Biblical Illustrator, and the renowned Pulpit Digest. In 1992-1993 I was elected to Who's Who in Religion. I was also elected to the international poetry society, Escambi Y Internationale. One of my poems was read into the Congressional Journal of the United States. I am also a member of Pi Gamma Mu, an honorary sociological fraternity. 

(Even More Recently) I published a book of Appalachian short stories, Ashes on the Snow, and, A Sensible Theology for Thinking People (A retired Southern Baptist minister talks candidly about the Bible, Theology and Contemporary Concerns). For about eight years I wrote a weekly column for the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch.

I have been interviewed on both radio and television.

My wife Deborah and I moved to Catlettsburg, Kentucky to operate The Presidents' House Bed and Breakfast, where we remained until we retired a second time and moved to Ashland, Kentucky. My wife Deborah of 35 years died November 22, 2018. 

I continue my work as a public speaker and freelance writer.

Judging My Couplets Contest

Blog Posted:9/27/2021 5:55:00 PM

Hey everyone --

As the entries are down to the wire and I start to judge the couplets contest, I realize it is the most difficult task I have set for myself since sponsoring contests.

First of all, the entries, for the most part, are absolutely superb.  If you were not considered for placement among the top ten, it probably has to do with one or more of the following reasons:

1. You submitted more than one couplet, even though I clearly indicated I wanted only TWO RHYMING LINES, and even wrote a blog clarifying that. More than two lines were automatically eliminated.

2. Your entry had clear grammatical, punctuation, and/or spelling errors.

3. Your couplet simply did not hold together as a story or a meaningful, memorable couplet, and in a very few cases I felt like you had merely thrown something together for the contest. If you will read the winners, you will see the differences.

4. Or, lastly, I only had ten spots, and so, after eliminating all of the aforementioned, I picked the top ten couplets I enjoyed the most, and your couplet was probably number eleven, twelve, or thirteen.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. I appreciate all of you. I do believe that the premiere contest tradition calls for excellence, so I am very happily going to reward those poets whom I felt submitted the best of the best couplets. And, I think we will do this again, okay?

Most cordially,


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Date: 10/6/2021 6:52:00 PM
Thanks Milt, your contest called me to write an epitaph for Carolyn, very much helping me emotionally deal with her departure, I just added this tribute at the end, how did you know? Thank you...
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Date: 9/29/2021 9:43:00 AM
Thank you for the contest Milton... I enjoyed writing... It's not always about winning, it's about enjoying writing... Congrats to all winners... ~ Ani
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Date: 9/28/2021 4:20:00 PM
Thanks again for my placement, Milt:-) So honored. Heartiest congratulations to all your winners!
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Date: 9/28/2021 9:54:00 AM
hey I got a sweet surprise seeing I made your list today. Barely, but I made it!!! Thanks so much. I really enjoyed that contest, Milt.
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Dietrich Avatar
Andrea Dietrich
Date: 9/28/2021 9:21:00 PM
when I was on Soup today I saw two really humorous ones that two poets had entered. You should do a humorous contest sometime. Those were very good ones also! (your list was VERY good, Milt. The wins were well deserved and the ones at the top were stunning)
Date: 9/28/2021 11:04:00 AM
Andrea, I had such a time deciding on the final three or four on the list, I'm telling you. I honestly felt bad that four or five very fine entries didn't make it because there were ten clear winners! Frankly, to be on a list of ten out of fifty is bragging rights, IMHO. I'm hoping that some of the newer people will enter and some of their names will appear on the second go-round list. Anyway, congratulations!
Date: 9/28/2021 7:43:00 AM
Have fun judging, I'm looking forward to seeing the results Milton, hugs Jan xx
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Date: 9/28/2021 5:52:00 AM
Milt, I agree with William, I am sure your judging will reflect the best couplets, there can be great beauty and emotions in two lines ~ peace and tranquility _Constance
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Date: 9/27/2021 7:19:00 PM
Win or lose, nicely said, that's true sponsorship, Milt, Aloha!
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My Past Blog Posts

Judging My Couplets Contest
Date Posted: 9/27/2021 5:55:00 PM
Date Posted: 9/24/2021 2:40:00 PM
Date Posted: 8/23/2021 1:45:00 PM
Date Posted: 8/15/2021 7:44:00 PM
"Trionet" Contest Finalized
Date Posted: 7/2/2021 8:38:00 AM
A Personal Message from "Milt"
Date Posted: 6/21/2021 7:43:00 PM
Date Posted: 6/2/2021 9:03:00 AM
Date Posted: 5/9/2021 8:46:00 AM
Date Posted: 4/21/2021 1:53:00 PM
PROS and CONS of PS Poetry Contests
Date Posted: 4/17/2021 3:13:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
10/22/2021 Icy Fantasies Haikuart,winter,
10/22/2021 I Wandered Through the Garden Rhymeflower,garden,lost love,m
10/22/2021 Jack Frost Haikuart,winter,
10/21/2021 Dear Friend Rhymeconflict,divorce,friend,s
10/21/2021 Death Unexpected Quintain (English)death,death of a friend,
10/21/2021 Charming Patterns Free versefun,winter,
10/20/2021 Sunshine and Shadow Haikunature,sunshine,
10/20/2021 Seek Peace at the Sacred Altar Rhymeinspirational,peace,relig
10/19/2021 My Sweet Pug Lanterneanimal,dog,pets,
10/19/2021 Masks Quintain (English)halloween,health,perspect
10/19/2021 I Hear Folks Sayin' Quatrainbody,how i feel,humorous,
10/19/2021 Thanksgiving Tankathanksgiving,thanksgiving
10/18/2021 Opinions of Teenagers Limerickhumorous,irony,political,
10/18/2021 Approaching Winter in the Urals Ekphrasisinspirational,nature,plac
10/18/2021 Our Strength Rhymefreedom,patriotic,strengt
10/17/2021 Whiners and Whisperers Quaterncharacter,growing up,how
10/17/2021 Taking the High Road Free verserelationship,work,
10/17/2021 Flat Tire on a Rainy Day Sonnetanxiety,irony,rain,weathe
10/16/2021 On Prayer Answered Quatrainprayer,
10/16/2021 Let's Hear It for Heat Rhymehow i feel,humorous,me,
10/16/2021 Commenting on Poems Rhymeperspective,poems,poetry,
10/16/2021 A Simple Poem Quatrainpoems,poets,writing,
10/15/2021 Local County Fair Rhymeautumn,celebration,commun
10/15/2021 Halloween At My House Monorhymefun,halloween,
10/15/2021 Seek the Joyful Moments Villanellegiving,joy,life,thanksgiv
10/14/2021 Stale Vermouth Trioletme,perspective,spoken wor
10/14/2021 Danger in the Night Haikubird,nature,night,sound,
10/14/2021 When Momma Visited Free versedeath,identity,mother,sur
10/14/2021 Monarchs Trioletautumn,butterfly,nature,
10/14/2021 Farm Tour Idyll (Idyl)farm,nature,
10/14/2021 Farmer Brown Limerickhumorous,
10/14/2021 Let the Eagles Soar Qasidaamerica,bird,patriotic,sk
10/13/2021 Longing for Vallarta Rhymetravel,vacation,weather,
10/13/2021 Self-Esteem Monokuself,success,
10/13/2021 Prepared for Possibilities Quatrainfuture,recovery from,
10/13/2021 When I Am But a Fossil Free versegrave,me,perspective,prop
10/12/2021 Expectations Terzanelledream,endurance,hope,phil
10/12/2021 Tinkering With Tennyson Clerihewengland,humor,humorous,po
10/12/2021 Exceptional Times Call Political Versehow i feel,patriotic,pers
10/12/2021 My Granddaughter Light Versegraduation,granddaughter,
10/11/2021 Late Sleeper Tankamorning,sleep,sun,
10/11/2021 Big Surprise Limerickhumorous,soldier,
10/11/2021 Mft dear Freinde Vogondesire,friendship,humor,l
10/11/2021 Rubicon Crossing Free verseabuse,anti bullying,life,
10/11/2021 In a Neighborhood Bar Coupletdrink,men,perspective,wor
10/11/2021 Smart Birds Chokabird,nature,
10/11/2021 The Laughter Stays Coupletmemory,remember,
10/11/2021 What Poetry Folks Read Quatrainliterature,poems,poetry,
10/10/2021 Supper Time Haikubird,food,insect,
10/10/2021 Along the Seine Rhymeart,boat,paris,river,roma
10/10/2021 My Friend Roget Light Versehumorous,writing,
10/10/2021 My Two Nannies Limerickhumorous,
10/10/2021 Silly Bird - Nursery Rhyme Rhymechild,nursery rhyme,poetr
10/10/2021 Upside Down - Inside Out Diamanteconflict,confusion,humoro
10/10/2021 There Was a Time Sonnetlife,me,perspective,psych
10/9/2021 Despair Epigramhope,how i feel,
10/9/2021 On Civil Disagreement Terzanelleperspective,political,rel
10/9/2021 Fans of Autumn Dizainautumn,holiday,sports,
10/9/2021 Swimming in the Moonlight Rhymedream,happiness,health,mo
10/9/2021 Taboo Coupletspoken word,
10/9/2021 Burned Out Free verseintrospection,silence,
10/8/2021 Jealousy Quatrainjealousy,
10/8/2021 Misunderstood Limerickhumorous,
10/8/2021 Conspiracy Theories Terzanelleanxiety,conflict,earth,fu
10/8/2021 Raised Up Senryuinspirational,life,spirit
10/8/2021 Death, Come Not Silent Versedeath,heaven,inspirationa
10/8/2021 Spreading Truth Monokutruth,words,
10/8/2021 The Knocking Rhymedeath,loss,wife,writing,
10/7/2021 Aunt Mabel Wrote Alliterationfamily,relationship,writi
10/7/2021 Farmer Shane Limerickfarm,humorous,
10/7/2021 County Fair Time Haikuautumn,october,
10/7/2021 Unclothed Thoughts Free verseperspective,philosophy,
10/7/2021 The Future Rhymeconfusion,future,perspect
10/7/2021 Summer Slips Slowly ABCbird,change,seasons,summe
10/7/2021 Ghost Trawler Rhymeboat,fishing,halloween,
10/6/2021 Antivaxxers Senryudeath,health,society,
10/6/2021 Reborn Here Now Without Baggage Quaternidentity,life,nature,pers
10/6/2021 Experience Epigramlife,
10/6/2021 Walk With Me Trioletencouraging,uplifting,
10/6/2021 Sycamore Haikuautumn,nature,tree,
10/6/2021 Wrinkles Coupletage,conflict,wife,
10/6/2021 Legacy Kimopoetry,writing,
10/6/2021 Mister McGoo's Disaster Limerickhumorous,
10/6/2021 Beware the Goblins Villanellehalloween,
10/6/2021 Bumbershoot Light Verserain,sunshine,
10/5/2021 Crossroads Shapeperspective,space,
10/5/2021 Titanic Cinquainocean,sad,
10/5/2021 Hypocrisy Senryupeople,perspective,
10/5/2021 My Kryptonite Haibunanti bullying,heartbreak,
10/4/2021 Life Goal Senryuinspirational,life,me,
10/4/2021 Happy Ever After Limerickhumorous,
10/4/2021 When the End Comes Rubaiyatme,perspective,
10/4/2021 October, Oh, October Chosen Free verseautumn,color,october,upli
10/4/2021 October Alliterationoctober,
10/3/2021 Be Aware, My Friend Rubaiyatperspective,
10/3/2021 My Lover's Best Rhymelove,sensual,
10/3/2021 Allergy Season Haikuautumn,environment,health
10/3/2021 The Pen Is Mightier Rubaiyatperspective,relationship,
10/3/2021 Let Me Be Lyricsong,
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My Photos

Fav Poems

VERSE FREED to couplet Coupletnostalgia,word play,
Spring Rhymeflower,spring,summer,sun,
Baxter Bug and the Purple Orb Rhymeinsect,
The Virginia Hermaphrodite Dramatic Monologuehistory,
To The Temptations Free versemusic,tribute,
Q Tipping Political Verseabuse,america,angst,discr
My Whiskey Was Dumped Into the Well Rhymedrink,water,
A Song of Three - Favorite Rhymefun,
Miss Amelia Havisham's Garden Shed Rhymedeath,garden,literature,
Blue Ridge Nights Free versepoetry,
It Was a Good Morning until Free versedad,fun,kid,
Howling Good Night for Pumpkin Fight Monorhymecat,halloween,
Lend Me Your Ear Rhymecharacter,integrity,peopl
It Was A Good Morning Until Rhymehumor,
I Felt An Ache Inside Rondeau Redouble11th grade,12th grade,ang
A Man Called Leo Quatrainanxiety,emotions,father s
Contemplation Free verse10th grade,11th grade,12t
M A X I M I Z E Acrosticinspirational,
Try Me Sometime Personificationfantasy,humanity,technolo
Flagpole Fannie - POTD Rhymegrandmother,humor,humorou
Better Choice at the End Rhymehumor,
On Wings of Imagination Verseimagination,
Overexposure Free versechildren,education,growth
In My Dreams Free verseanimal,
This Beautiful Brown Eyed Boy Narrativeblack african american,bo
The Holy Road Free versewar,
The Big, Fat Fairy Rhymecheer up,fairy,fantasy,
Greener Rhymeanimal,metaphor,
Watching Amos Plowing with Horses Narrativehistory,nostalgia,
How Do You Like Them Apples Rhymehumorous,
Majesty of Fall Verseautumn,beauty,
silence Free versechild,conflict,death,phil
All The Young Hymns Rhymechildhood,religion,school
MOONSHINE SHUFFLE - Moderate Country Waltz Lyricmarriage,
Artie's Aviary Alliteration7th grade,8th grade,bird,
Statues In The Park Rhymehistory,
Lost and Found Coupletadventure,fantasy,flower,
Precious Black Night Rhymebeautiful,color,dark,moon
Making a Hillbilly Jacuzzi Rhyme10th grade,11th grade,12t
ILL REPUTE Rhymehumorous,lust,sin,
The Last Supper Limerickjesus,
bard's-eye view Iambic Pentameteranalogy,metaphor,poetry,w
Lazy Bones Rhymework,
That's When the Fight Began Coupletfun,funny,humor,humorous,
Speaking with Shakespeare Rhymehilarious,
Another Lifetime Versework,
Shh, I'll Make It Go Away Rhymechildhood,how i feel,love
I Won't Try Again I Quit Limerick2nd grade,3rd grade,4th g
HOT,HOT,HOT Rhymefunny,hilarious,humor,hum
Jazz My Puppy Dog Enclosed Rhymeanimal,dog,
Charlies Boarder Rhymeanimal,
Man Child Versechild,childhood,men,
this old building Versehome,
In Sandy On A Sundy Rhymehumor,
My Government Tis of Thee Rhymedeath,humor,
I Want To Be A Poet Rhymefun,funny,poetry,words,
The Secret Seat II: Gethsemane Rhymemental illness,society,we
Again Verselove,snow,
Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday Rhymeday,
I REMEMBER SMOKEY Quatraincat,childhood,
An Old Wise Fish Light Versehumor,
Cowboy Shooters On Motor Scooters Rhymehumorous,native american,
Don't Go To L Rhyme10th grade,
Crazy Animal Poem Monorhyme1st grade,2nd grade,3rd g
The Legs Are Last To Go Rhymefamily,fun,humorous,life,
The American Indian Rhymeappreciation,beauty,histo
Stand in a Field and Scream Villanelleanxiety,betrayal,depressi

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Eric Ashford United States Flag United States Read
Janis Thompson United States Flag United States Read
Sandra Haight United States Flag United States Read
Suzanne Delaney United States Flag United States Read
Thomas Wells United States Flag United States Read
Linda Alice Fowler United States Flag United States Read
Jones Muta Tanzania Flag Tanzania Read
charles messina United States Flag United States Read
Maurice Rigoler United States Flag United States Read
Richard Lamoureux Canada Flag Canada Read
Stanfield Major United States Flag United States Read
Wendy Watson United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Rico Leffanta United States Flag United States Read
Caren Krutsinger United States Flag United States Read
Virginia Gelok Canada Flag Canada Read
Carolyn Devonshire United States Flag United States Read
Regina McIntosh United States Flag United States Read
Emile Pinet Canada Flag Canada Read
Chantelle Anne Cooke United States Flag United States Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Terry Miller United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Ken Rone United States Flag United States Read
David Walker United States Flag United States Read
Barry Freeman United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Gary Radice United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Panagiota Romios United States Flag United States Read