Thursday, June 26, 2008
VERY bad poetry
I can't recall where this slim little volume came from; whether I bought it for Husband or he for me. But for sheer crap, nothing beats Very Bad Poetry. Edited by Kathryn & Ross Petras, this book contains the absolutely worst poetry ever written. It's been on our bookshelves for a few years now and I still pick it up now and again and laugh at the awful rhymes, atrocious grammar, and hideous themes.
Since I have nothing else on my brain today, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a few of my favorites. (Read on, I'll end with my absolute favorite.)
Well, to start with there's this delightful air by that most famous of authors, Anonymous:
Ode to a Ditch
Oh, ditch of all ditches
Death's storehouse of riches,
Where wan disease slumbers mid festoons of slime!
Oh, dark foetid sewer
Where death is the brewer
And ail is the liquor he brews all the time!
Where to start? First off, who the hell would write a poem about a ditch? Secondly....well....who the hell would write a poem about a ditch??? (Plus it goes on for four more stanzas.)
Dear old Anonymous also gives us a lovely piece of dental work:
My Last Tooth
You have gone, old tooth,
Though hard to yield,
You have long stood alone,
Like a stub in the field.
Awfully glad not to have the author read his own work on that one.
Missing body parts seems to be a popular theme with bad poets. Witness Cornelius Whur's contribution:
The Armless Artist
Alas! Alas! the father said,
O what a dispensation!
How can we be by mercy led,
In such a situation?
Be not surprised by my alarms,
The dearest boy is without arms!
Yes, well very nice. Thanks for sharing.
Next we have the unforgivable Bertha Moore, a Victorian "poet" who specialized in (God help us) baby talk. With apologies I share with you the atrocious A Child's Thought:
If I were God, up in the sky.
I'll tell you all vat I would do,
I would not let the babies cry
Because veir tooths was coming froo.
I'd make them born wif tooths all white,
And curly hair upon veir heads
And so vat vey could sit upright
Not always lie down in veir beds.
Makes you want to womit, don't it?
I could go on, and on (and on), but I shall have mercy and merely end with what is, in my opinion, the very pinnacle of poetic poo.
On Visiting Westminster Abbey
By Amanda McKittrick Ros
Holy Moses! Have a look!
Flesh decayed in every nook!
Some rare bits of brain lie here
Mortal loads of beef and beer,
Some of whom are turned to dust,
Every one bids lost to lust.
Personally, I think that "Holy Moses! Have a look! Flesh decayed in every nook!" is as near to perfection as possible when looking for the absolute worst opening line to a poem. Plus it rhymes.
Have a Very Bad Poetry day!