“Writing poetry is like making an awesome dessert. There’s a fine line between just enough sugar and diabetic coma.” – Mental Mama
I got a lot of interest in the Bad Poetry Society post, by which I mean more than three people responded! Woot! We even have two of our board positions filled. Queen: Me, Alice because I made it up and Grand Wizard: Goldfish cause she has it on her resume. Every poetry society needs a wizard. I would like to give Merbear a position as well for the inspiration, but I’ll have to let her choose. I’m thinking maybe Chief Unicorn or something. Note: As Queen of this society, I am also Chief Literary Critic which is even MORE pretentious than the most pretentious poet, so this should be great fun.
Several of you gave some awesome poetry entries. These are totally deserving of a badge, or possibly something even better like a shirt from ES’s shop!* Observe!
My dog likes to poo
I drink Mountain dew
Then I use the loo
Would you like fries with that?
–Merbear (future Chief Unicorn?)
The Queen speaks:
Merbear’s poem involves animal bodily functions, a toilet, a death defying drink, and McDonald’s. I think what she’s trying to say here is that life is poo, and then you work in food service.
I don’t like salad
But love the roughage
Kale is fine
But kind of toughage
The Queen speaks:
Ross’s poem is a passionate argument against vegetarianism, for man was not meant to eat plants because toughage.
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?
The Queen speaks:
This poem is reminiscent of many of the Great Writers I was forced to read in English, like Hemingway and Faulkner, in that it is partially unintelligible yet misogynistic, and full of fantastical visuals (flaxen, glow, barf) yet based in gritty reality (condoms, bastard, Chevy).
Roses are red
Violets are blue
This poem’s so bad
I’m not even going to finish it.
The Queen Speaks:
One would call this poem “like so done before” but List of X turns it on its head by adding the irreverent “I’m not even going to finish it.” This shows he is above this stinking poetry, and should propel him to poetry fame in no time.
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
The Queen Speaks:
Clearly this poem is full of deep . . . meaning. It’s obvious that by referencing broth, mountain dew, sloth, and dog poo, he is referring to your average lazy American who sloths on the sofa ignoring the dog poo while eating heated Campbells soup, drinking Dew, and yelling at people on reality shows. It’s a slice of American life, like a literary Norman Rockwell. Or he’s just stoned.
Looks like we have an excellent group going for a possible Bad Poetry Slam. Now for more bad poetry tips (again feel free to add your own)
6. Forced Rhyme
Ross demonstrated the forced rhyme (roughage / toughage). It’s that word a poet is determined to fit in a poem even if it just kind of sounds like the other word, or is the same word, or is a made up word. Poetry is toughage, guys.
And one more I just thought of, that kind of goes along with twisty straw poems
7. Pretty colors, fonts, italics, wing-dings!
These always add to the poetry, especially if you also print it on a pretty meme or paper. It works for prose as well. I once had a student who printed his narrative about death and rape in blood red font. He sure made an impression on me!
Remember to continue to add your own poetry peeves and/or poetry samplings in the comments or a post of your own! I will post them for all to see! Also let me know if you want to be on the Poetry Board and what position.
* ES has no idea about his shirt give-a-way. But wouldn’t that be a nice gesture?
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
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
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
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
It’s still a dumb song even when I make cute connect-the-dots pictures with it.
5. Pick a style, any style poetry
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
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?
I write the posts that make my readers cringe
I write the posts that say goooofy things . . .
Oh, hello there, just channeling my inner Barry Manilow. Occasionally I throw him up. I bet you didn’t know how poetical I can be. Well, first off I’m an English major (no, seriously) even though I just ended a sentence back there with a preposition (I can name you 50 of those. There’s no point, but an English teacher made us memorize them in 7th grade). I also have troubles with commas and semicolons and occasionally I will write a run on sentence and forget hyphens but really who cares about doing that or using multiple “ly” adverbs cause it’s totally my blog. Where was I?
Poetics! Right. Did you know that according to that writer generator everyone’s been talking about I write like Stephen King? Scary, huh? Or possibly this dude I don’t recognize. But my favorite match was William Shakespeare. The Great Bard himself, of course! Forsooth, verily we art alike and crapeth. You don’t believe me? Well, I was just talking with some peeps about growing my blog the other day and they said peeps like them some poetry. I can totally rock with that. I wrote poetry back when I was in elementary school. Sadly my parents did not save it, which is a shame because I’m sure I was the ultimate prodigy there.
Back when I went to church, I was at some ladies retreat thing. For some reason they wanted us to write a poem. The others in my group found out I was an English major, so obviously I would know poetry, right? Here is the poem I wrote:
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Jesus is Great
And so are You
They didn’t ask me to write a poem again, for some reason. But I just know I have a spark of genius in me, some bit of Longfellow, or Frost, or Seuss. Okay, here goes.
Children are angels
Who fell from Heaven
And into Hell
The Things will just love the sentiment in this one, I’m sure. But there’s something wrong. Oh, I know – I didn’t make it rhyme! While I have read some really great free verse poetry from my fellow bloggers, I have also known quite a few people who thought free verse was an excuse to write really bad prose in a fancy way. I like rhymes. Most of the time.
It’s hard to make a living as a poet. Unless you do something like write greeting cards. I could totally do that. Along the same thread, here’s my greeting card for expectant mothers.
You’re having a baby
A treasure to keep
You’ll change lots of nappies
And you’ll never sleep.
I know, such untapped potential! You will notice that not only did my poem rhyme this time, but I used a British word for diapers – nappies. Anything British automatically makes you sound like an intellectual. Now I can go to book stores and do poetry slams and wear berets and sip fru-fru coffee and spout my theories about life.
So I ask you – are you a poet and don’t know it (it never ends, the genius)? Or do you know it? Who is your favorite poet?