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Unread 05-14-2002, 09:45 AM
Carol Taylor Carol Taylor is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 7,799

What's the worst poem you ever wrote? Here's my candidate. Can anybody top it?


He lay beside his master's feet, the picture of devotion,
Forever faithful, conscious of his place;
Recognizing every mood, he shared the man's emotions,
And licked the salty tears from off his face.

He waited on the step outside and kept the day's long vigil.
Through rain or snow or melting sun he sat,
To look on that beloved face, and wag his tail and wriggle
For one kind word or absent-minded pat.

There might be days on end when Fido didn't see his master,
But day and night he waited, standing guard.
There might be days when he would wait with neither food nor water,
The man's approaching footstep his reward.

And when there was no food to eat and both of them were hungry,
The dog went out and brought a rabbit home.
His master cooked it in the pot with garlic, salt, and onion,
And ate the meat and threw the dog a bone.

Sometimes against the chill of night, or being sick or lonely,
The master reached to take him in his arms.
He curled beside the man to lend the comfort of his body.
And asked no more than just to keep him warm.

And other times, from temper, taking out his own frustration,
The man would slap or kick him with his boot,
Or send him out into the cold in anger and impatience,
And yell at him for being underfoot.

So Fido lay upon the step, big brown eyes hurt and grieving,
For love withheld; not knowing how or when,
But hoping, longing, needing, although never quite believing
That happiness and trust would come again.

At last there came the day when all he had to give was given,
And in his wounded heart love merged with hate.
And 'though he had no place to go or will to keep on living,
He bit his master's hand, and ran away.

Carol Taylor

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Unread 05-14-2002, 11:47 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 14,297

Carol, you call that bad! You obviously don't know much about writing truly bad poems, I'm afraid. I've written countless poems far worse than what you posted here.

In fact, not to be too insulting or anything, but you need to make this poem a lot, lot worse. I'd do a line-by-line, showing you exactly how you can butcher the syntax and the meter further, and identifying spots where the meaning came across a bit too clearly, but you didn't post your poem for critique but to invite others to post their own bad efforts.

With all modesty, though I have a vast selection to choose from, I'd say that the following poem is hard to fault for being too good:


Are you one who can guess the plot?
I'm not,
even when the play's been played.
I laugh at what the bows imply.
To die
is just to sleep on stage then fly
on lofty currents of ovation.
On the whole, a fine sensation.
I'm not afraid to die.
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Unread 05-14-2002, 12:35 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 7,790

It feels like cheating to dredge up something I wrote in high school, but you did say "ever," Carol, and I still cringe to remember this one (some things are impossible to forget). On the other hand, I probably could find something even worse if I went back further.

Elegy for Good Old What's-His-Name

Like an electrical outlet
the same color as the wall,
except when he was needed
no one noticed him at all.

I suppose his friends were grateful
for the trials he gladly bore,
but who would thank a doorstop
every time it stops a door?
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Unread 05-14-2002, 12:40 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 14,297

Carol, Susan, you people are cheating! These are actually good poems. Susan, that's really not bad at all, and it's not surprising that the high school student who wrote that grew up to be such a good poet. Come on, you must have written something worse than this, something without humor or wit or thought? Am I the only one who is brave enough to post something that is truly bad?
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Unread 05-14-2002, 01:25 PM
Carol Taylor Carol Taylor is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 7,799

The thing is, Roger, at the time I wrote this I wasn't trying to be funny. I was simply indulging in some cheap therapy (read wallowing in self-pity), and while I knew it wasn't a good poem, I didn't realize its potential as a spoof until years later. That qualifies it as a Classically Bad Poem of the first order. I agree that Susan's is good as light verse. Even the title shows irony. Yours? Well, it's just not in the same league with mine.

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Unread 05-14-2002, 02:51 PM
Curtis Gale Weeks Curtis Gale Weeks is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Missouri, USA
Posts: 1,017


<dir>What you are about to read was not only submitted to a major poetry competition (which shall go nameless), but it was also submitted as one poem of a book-length collection of similarly styled poems submitted to that competition (guess which one.) Any similarity between this poem and recent poems submitted for critique at Eratosphere by this author--in whole or in part--is completely coincidental. That the author has not yet burned every copy of this poem (and every copy of that book-length manuscript) in no way implies an abiding love, nor a fetish, held by this author for this poem or its alleged aesthetic--He merely keeps this poem as a reminder of "what might have been..." and thanks God nightly that it wasn't. The following lines were written by a purblind amateur; under no circumstance should you attempt this kind of writing at home, nor should you let your children attempt this, nor should you let your dogs attempt this. And, for God's sake, don't send something like this to the **** ******* ***** poetry contest, should you find the previous warning too difficult to heed!</dir>

My first, of only two written, parody:

<dir>Homage to Millay

I will write Chaos into fourteen lines
and wallow there; and never more will seek escape.
If I am lucky, I will writhe and strain and ape
pleasures where Chaos bends by right designs
into something I can bear. Within these confines,
I will not stray, nor will I fail to rape
from his sweet essence and dimorphous shape
all joys, all madnesses his spirit combines.
Past now: BANNED POSTthe age of my abandon, my sad duress;
I have him. And I will force him into servitude
of what I want and how I want it: BANNED POSTno less.
Though he weep, though he moan—This be understood:
I am a thief whose crimes the gods confess
but do not answer; and I will do him good.</dir>



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Unread 05-14-2002, 04:03 PM
heroin bob heroin bob is offline
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: louisiana
Posts: 163

Oh my. You think you guys are bad. I have more crappy poetry then most anyone. I am a prime example of what good can come out of teenagers who write. It almost scares me, its really strange reading stuff more than like four months old. Because most of it is crap. And by crap, it is infamously crappy. Like overtly disgustingly crappy. On that note, I would like to share the first poem I had ever written, minus one from when I was in second grade. This was my first serious poem. I think you will be moved to your toilettes on this one. It is roughly 3 years old now. So what you see here, will shock you. It is also probably the last poem I will post on Eratosphere for a period of time, because a long needed break from poetry, and a long needed exploration into other forms of writing, ie playwrighting as you will see on the fiction board. But anyway on with the poem.

By Mickey Gray (copywrited sometime in the 1990s)

When I had lived so many a year ago

I had loved for one


For I was her beau
-------------------------- (this is how I structured it)
The ground on which she would walk

People would kiss

And all would talk

Of her glorious bliss
Her beauty devine

Like the finest wine
Many men moved

towards my sweet Lia

But she always proved

that her love was for me (in the original version it was me-ahh)
When night fell upon us

She was moved from me

Faithfully I trust

In a better place she will be
I sit and ponder

Of my sweet love

Lia, far and yonder

Lia my sweet dove
Painfully this day

I stand before thee

with nothing to say


For those who feel they have suffered permenant brain damage. Fear not. I had to suffer through the time that I thought this was good. So you have had nothing this bad.

By the way I think I win.
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Unread 05-14-2002, 04:56 PM
Hugh Clary Hugh Clary is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA
Posts: 233

Pah! Doggerel amateurs.

The money I hid in my cache
Was stolen, which gave me an ache.
"Will someone not help me?" I said,
But nobody came to my aid.
I think that it might be the devil,
Or somebody equally evil.
Perhaps I should ask all the women
If they think that it might be an omen,
Or maybe 'twas merely a mover
Who'll return when the usage is over.
"That's sage," I considered it simply,
"It's zany if any imply
That a thief would come down
Either there, or to here where I own
My house, so I'm sure that I know
It will show up some how even now.

So my story I bring to a close,
Secure that my funds I won't lose.

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Unread 05-14-2002, 05:03 PM
Zita Zenda's Avatar
Zita Zenda Zita Zenda is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New York City
Posts: 765

since it may seem that I have never written any good poems just yet... here is what I consider my worst:

to the highest light, of that night,
the smoke was rising.
to the face of that one, insight,
the mist was clinging.
the smoke was rising,
and the mist was clinging,
and the night was made by
a single moment.
the incident was ideal.


and I don't even get the gratitude of you guys tearing that one apart...

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Unread 05-14-2002, 08:03 PM
Renate Renate is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 873

Well, I think mine is unpardonable because I knew how bad it was as I wrote it, but couldn't stop myself. It's "pathological"(that's the word the doctor used).

I feel for you Heroin Bob. BTW I liked your fiction!

When life is dull and boring,
I still have my mind
and for nearly all of us
no truer friend can find.
I always listen to myself
and never am unkind.
I only have myself to blame
If I get in a bind.
I treat myself with courtesy
and rarely do I find
someone quite as agreeable
who thinks I am sublime.

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