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Rhythm and the Raven

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Contest ended

Tuesday Apr 01, 2014

$1500

Youth Grand Prize

$1500

Adult Grand Prize

$200

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Honorable Mention

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The Raven

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The Raven


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Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…

Sound familiar? These are the opening words from Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem, "The Raven." The poem was a “pop” sensation in Poe’s time - kids used to follow him down the street waving their arms like a bird.

Now we’re putting it to you, Project ED creators, to turn this classic into a rhythmic masterpiece worth of today’s pop charts.

Here’s your assignment:

Using verses from "The Raven" - recite, sing, or rap the poem in a rhythm that will make us want to hear it over and over again. You must follow these rules:

  • Use the poem as is - no repetitions of words or lines, no invention of new words or lines; just make your flow work. We want you to stay true to Poe’s original rhyme and verse.
  • Your recitation must contain, at a minimum, the first six verses of the poem in order as included below. You can stop there, or keep going. Pick stanzas from the rest of the poem as you wish, or do the whole thing!
  • Make sure your video is appropriate (No profanity or violence, please!)
  • Accompanying music must be either an original composition or from our approved music sources:

Remember - we’re focused on your flow and delivery. Perfectly produced music is not required; beatboxing and even drumming on your desk is acceptable.

And check out the Resources section for Raven-themed artwork you can include in your video

Good Luck!

Guest Judges:

For Project ED’s first-ever poetry contest, we’ve teamed up with some amazing collaborators. Your submissions will be reviewed by guest judges from Poets.org, GetLit, and editors at Rap, Rock, and Poetry Genius.
UPDATE: MC LARS has joined our guest judging panel. Check out his Poe raps here.
In addition to our cash prizes various finalists will be featured the Poetry Genius site alongside their annotated version of the Raven.
Image credit: heather_mcgrath/iStockphoto

The Raven (Verses 1-6) by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door—
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more."


Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.


And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more."


Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"—
Merely this and nothing more.


Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
'Tis the wind and nothing more!"

Read and write annotations for the poem at http://poetry.rapgenius.com/Edgar-allan-poe-the-raven-annotated

Submission requirements:

In your video, you must:

  • Recite, sing, or rap the first six verses of the poem as is - no repetitions of words or lines, no invention of new words or lines.
  • Accompanying music must be either an original composition or from our approved music sources (included in the resources section). Remember - we’re focussed on your flow and delivery, so beatboxing and drumming on a desk are acceptable.
  • Make sure your video is appropriate (no violence or profanity).
  • Meet all official rules and requirements.

Key Dates:

  • February 14, 2014 – Contest opens
  • March 20, 2014 – Last day to submit your video (by 11:59 p.m. ET)
  • March 28, 2014 – Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • April 1, 2014 – Winners announced on the Project ED website

Finalist and Winner Judging Criteria:

The primary measure of success in this contest will be your delivery of the poem. Videos will be evaluated based on the following criteria, weighed equally:

  • Educational merit and accuracy: Your video achieves the educational goals presented in the contest brief and viewers learn intended material from your video.
  • Creativity and engagement: Your video presents educational content in a memorable way; viewers are compelled to watch the video to completion. Does your video convey its message in an artistic, creative and innovative way?
  • Quality of video production: Your video has high resolution and audio quality, effectively employs visual aesthetics and cinematography and demonstrates production skills.
  • Appropriate content: Your video does not contain indecent, obscene, hateful, defamatory, or offensive material.

In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken on the basis of the tied entrants’ scores in the educational merit and accuracy criteria.

Prizes:

Prizes per contest vary. In most cases, a grand prize will be awarded to one video in the ‘Youth’ category and one in the Adult category. All entries are categorized by age of the submitter. Submitters under the age of 18 are placed into the Youth category and submitters 18 years or older are placed in the Adult category. Finalist videos will also receive a prize. In the case of winners under the age of 18, prizes will be awarded to a legal parent or guardian. Rules for each contest explain how and when we will notify you and the date the prizes will be announced. Prizes are awarded at Amplify’s discretion and are subject to the applicable district and school policies. Prizes for teachers may be awarded via DonorChoose.org.

Official Requirements:

  • The video’s creator must be 13 or over.
  • Entrants who are minors must obtain a parent’s or guardian’s consent to enter the contest.
  • You must use appropriate language and content.
  • You must properly clear and credit any source film clips, images, or locations you use. To verify winning entries, participants will be asked to submit proof of proper clearances.
  • You can only submit one entry per contest.
  • If you are employed by a school you must ensure your entry into this contest is in compliance with your institution’s policies.
  • Please carefully read the complete rules listed in the Contest Terms.

Approved Music sources:

Raven-Themed Artwork

  • Download here
  • Note: stills provided in the link above may only be used in relation to Project ED's "Rhythm and the Raven" contest. All other uses of this artwork are prohibited.
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