Bad Poet’s Society

The other day I was reading some bad poetry.  In other words, like at least 80 percent of the poetry that’s out there right now.  See, while there are many people who think they can write prose that can’t; there seem to be even more people who are not poets and do not know it.  Prose and poetry aren’t the same.  Poetry is much, much harder – if you do it right.  I don’t, which I why I only write stupid poems.  Thing is, I do it on purpose and other people . . . don’t.

Now there are some awesome poets out there, like Merbear for instance, and several others.  Being a good poet does not disqualify you from being in the Society, though.  Even good poets can be bad.  All a person has to do to join is write the worst poetry they can.  Or if you’re like me, just write poetry.  For some ideas, I have collected a list of the most obnoxious (in my opinion) poetry faux pas.

1. Seuss-i-fying your poetry

thing one and thing two

I love Dr. Seuss.  But there’s only one  Dr. Seuss, and unless you are writing poetry for children, having it rhyme in a sing-song every other line sort of way makes your poetry sound juvenile no matter what your subject. For example:

I have a stalker

He is really strange

He follows me always

And has lots of mange

See?  Serious topic = stalking.  But I want to take that poem and add goofy drawings to it.  Like Marmaduke creepily staring in someone’s window or something.

This is not to say that you can’t rhyme in a poem.  One of my favorite poets, Edgar Allen Poe, does rhyme, but he has a flow to his poetry.  Real rhyming poetry is every beautiful song you’ve ever heard.  It has a melody.  Which leads me to example two.

2. Speed-bump poetry

speed bump ahead

Poetry needs to flow.  Even, actually especially, free verse poetry.  Since there’s no set line length, or rhyming, it’s up to you to figure out how to make the words flow together.  When reading a poem, I don’t like starting and stopping.  I call it speed bumps.  Each time the word doesn’t flow – there are way too many syllables, or the word somehow doesn’t fit, or the poem loses focus – I feel a bump.  I’m shaken out of the reverie.  An example:

She’s like the wind

Through a forest of tall tall trees

She rides the night train to Georgia

Next to Runaround Sue

Bump, Bump, BUUUUUMP

3. Emo  Poetry

Not Elmo, emo.  Though both are equally obnoxious.

Not Elmo, emo. Though both are equally obnoxious.

There’s only so much angst over that girl from high school that done did you wrong we can take.  Keep it up and you’ll sound like a Taylor Swift song, and no one wants that.

4. Twisty-straw Poetry







                          My Car

Who me?

Hey, that was LYRICAL POETRY, man!

Hey, that was LYRICAL POETRY, man!

It’s still a dumb song even when I make cute connect-the-dots pictures with it.


5. Pick a style, any style poetry

Boppo can't pick a style - look what happened to him.

Boppo can’t pick a style – look what happened to him.

Whatever you choose to do, just stick with it.  If you want Seuss, do Seuss.  If you want speed-bump, throw out the speed bumps.  But please don’t combine a half dozen styles in a single poem.

Dashing through the snow

On a one-horse reindeer whatever


        the hills

                          we go

Laughing all the way until we’re shot on sight

By that girl who’s like the wind

In the trees.

I’m sure you can name lots of other problem poetry.  Let me know in the comments, or write your own bad poetry post.  I’ll link to it and maybe we can make a horrible poetry book. We could call it Twilight Sexy Times Poetry Suck.  It would be a bestseller for sure.  Or I’ll just do it myself and rake in all the profits.

I’m also thinking of designing a badge.  You know for me and my followers, or possibly just for me and all the invisible flying elves.  What do you think should be the badge for a Bad Poet’s Society?

35 responses

  1. Thank you for the compliment, WT, it’s very difficult to write a great poem, which is why I rarely write any.
    My dog likes to poo
    I drink Mountain dew
    Then I use the loo
    Would you like fries with that?

    1. This is the most amazing poem I have ever read.

  2. I agree, writing poetry isn’t easy. Which is why I rarely do. And what I do write, I try to pretend I’ve not written it until I’m less embarrassed about having actually written poetry. Some people are comfortable with it, which is fine, but for some reason I feel slightly awkward and ashamed of it. Possibly because it can be seen as being pretentious and I don’t want to be that, and I also don’t really like pushing myself forward, if that makes any sense?

    And yet, here I am, blogging (sort of) and commenting on everyone’s posts…

    1. I’m not sure you can even say “I’m a poet” without sounding pretentious. Granted, yes, writing a blog post about how not to write poetry could be considered pretentious as well, but the nice thing is that you don’t need talent of your own to criticize. You just have to be able to read. And some things I read are dumb.

      This is not to say people can’t write poetry if it makes them happy. I mean, few of us are bucking for Pulitzers here. It’s when you start taking yourself a bit too seriously – which come to think of it, goes for blogging as well- that it gets obnoxious.

      1. So, the terror level is dark purple. There are pretentious people everywhere. 😉

  3. I like to make up words to force a rhyme:

    I don’t like salad
    But love the roughage
    Kale is fine
    But kind of toughage

    Where’s my badge?

    1. I’m currently thinking up the badge design. Contenders include a pic of a toilet, or spam in a can, or stinky cheese. Now I’m considering cabbage! By the way, I love the rhyme forcing. Like when Neil Diamond rhymed “sang” with “brang” or when someone simply uses the same word multiple times. Cause sang rhymes with sang, right?

      1. Dave Berry once mocked Neil Diamond for his song, “I Am, I Said,” for this:

        “I am”… I said
        To no one there
        And no one heard at all
        Not even the chair

        Chair? Really? Chair?

        1. YES! That’s where I got that from – his Bad Song Survey book. He always got a ton of hate mail from Neil Diamond fans so he’d mockingly say he loved him, especially the songs he sang and brang to us hahaha. Berry is my hero.

  4. Writing poetry is like making an awesome dessert. There’s a fine line between just enough sugar and diabetic coma.

    How do I love thee?
    Let me barf the ways
    Your flaxen hair shines in the glow of the street lights
    When we make out in the back of my Chevy
    What do you mean it was my responsibility to get condoms?
    Lousy bastard

    1. “Writing poetry is like making an awesome dessert. There’s a fine line between just enough sugar and diabetic coma.” – Exactly! I also like how you ended with “lousy bastard”. It had this hint of finality to it that stirred my dead, dark soul.

  5. I don’t get poetry, which probably automatically makes me a bad poet. I do love me some Billy Ocean though… that song rules!!!!

    1. I don’t usually get poetry either. I’m not sure if I’m just not pretentious enough, or if I never developed that gene. I know when I read something and like it, so I guess that works well enough.

  6. I’m a Grand Wizard of the Bad Poetry Society. They have a picture of me on the wall.

    1. We totally have a position open for Grand Wizard. As an artist, do you have ideas for a Bad Poetry Badge? Of course it would have to include bad art, and yours is actually good, so I dunno.

      1. Lol. I would proudly wear a Grand Wizard badge. 😉

  7. I don’t write poetry other than a silly limerick or two if a blog post calls for it. I know my limits. If I wrote serious poetry, poets everywhere could include it in their “what not to do” recommendations. Ugly it would be…

    1. Ah, Limericks! I remember writing awful limericks in school! Are there supposed to be good Limericks, or are all Limericks just parodies of themselves?

      1. You’re asking the wrong person. 😉

  8. Reblogged this on Knocked over by a feather and commented:
    This had me giggling…

  9. I found two handwritten books full of my teenage angst, bile and trauma in poetic form. I did consider putting some of it onto my blog, but maybe not.

    1. Just imagine if you’d been able to put it all on Facebook and it’d be around for alllll eternity.

      1. I have just gone hot and cold all over thinking about that – I hadn’t even thought about it. I was lucky to grow up in a simpler age.

  10. I write poetry, kind of. I’m not sure if its good or not, so I always warn people that I am NOT a poet. That way they read at their own risk. All though I have gotten some good reviews. Or maybe they were joking 😉

    1. I’ve read your poetry and I think it’s good. I’m not really a good judge of what makes a totally fabulous poet since I am not sure what that is, but I do know what a lousy one is because I just finished a long study on what a lousy writer is (E.L. James) and I think I can transfer that to poetry pretty well. Oh, egads, what if James comes up with a poetry book? We are doomed.

      Oh, and as long as you enjoy yourself, it doesn’t matter what goofs like me think.

      1. I haven’t been brave enough to read E.L. James, so you are much braver than I. And thanks about the poetry, I think poetry is something like art. Each person can identify with a piece or not. As some poetry makes me scratch my head and say, what?

        1. Oh, good, I’m glad to hear from a poet that it’s not just me. Sometimes I think people are too deep for themselves or you know, reality.

  11. Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    This poem’s so bad
    I’m not even going to finish it.

    1. I like your style there. Now if you’d just move the words around in a twisty arrangement and put in a background of meadow flowers, you’d be golden.

  12. Number 5 was awesome 🙂

    1. Thanks. Maybe I can get a career writing new age Christmas songs.

  13. Mer’s dog likes to poo
    that is so ewwww
    I don’t like mountain dew
    I think I’d like chicken broth
    I’d have to think about the sloth

    1. I’m breathless after reading this work of art. I mean, there are so many philosophical questions here. Like – what does the mountain dew represent? Or the broth? Or the sloth? And what have they to do with Mer’s dog? I personally think it must be an allegory about either God or McDonald’s, I’m not sure.

      1. How did you figure out it was about McDonald’s? I’m impressed! 😉

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