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Very Bad Poetry Paperback – March 25, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (March 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679776222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679776222
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,300,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Diet by John Armstrong
11. by Alfred Austin
12. by Alfred Austin
And Do They Wear That Lubricating Lie by Alfred Austin
But The Fleet Hours Pass Pitilessly Fleeter by Alfred Austin
Part 1. by Alfred Austin
Lord Stanhope Hit Upon A Novel Plan by T. Baker
Yet Here, Tho' Amusing The Sight by Samuel Bently
Come, Lowly Ones, And Take Your Places Now by Marion Albina Bigelow
Two Smothered Children by Marion Albina Bigelow
Equality by Edwin Emanuel Bradford
His Mother Drinks by Edwin Emanuel Bradford
There Was A Woman Lived In Winston-salem by I. J. Brittain
From Thine Eyrie, The Crag by Fred Emerson Brooks
The New Baby by Fred Emerson Brooks
The Stuttering Lover by Fred Emerson Brooks
Her Lips Disclosed To View by Solyman Brown
Whene'er Along The Ivory Disks, Are Seen by Solyman Brown
Between Our Folding Lips by Thomas Edward Brown
A Holland Brick by Wallace Bruce
The Wanderer: 5. In Holland: Going Back Again by Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-lytton
I Found A Corpse, With Golden Hair by Edward Robert Bulwer-lytton
She Is Talking Aesthetics, The Dear Clever Creature by Edward Robert Bulwer-lytton
Dear Mother by Henry Cuyler Bunner
A Real Romance by Henry Cuyler Bunner
Alas! Carolina! by J. Gordon Coogler
Byron by J. Gordon Coogler
Charming Steel Horse by J. Gordon Coogler
God Correctly Understood by J. Gordon Coogler
I Dreamed The Other Night by J. Gordon Coogler
More Care For The Neck Than For The Intellect by J. Gordon Coogler
O That The Lilies And Roses Were Mine by J. Gordon Coogler
A Pretty Girl by J. Gordon Coogler
Becalmed In The Tropics by Eliza Cook
I Plunged My Beak In The Marbling Cheek by Eliza Cook
A Pathetic Lament (on People Visiting A Castle) by Eliza Cook
There Are Hearts -- Stout Hearts, -- That Own No Fear by Eliza Cook
A Varied Theme It Utters by Eliza Cook
Corn, Corn, Sweet Indian Corn by William W. Cook
Only One Eye by Lillian E. Curtis
The Potato by Lillian E. Curtis
The Two Bears by Lillian E. Curtis
Lines 82 - 129 by Dante Alighieri
Kansas by J. P. Dunn
An Ode To Governor Capper by J. P. Dunn
The Homeward Bound Passenger Ship by Edward Edwin Foot
A Lisp In Numbers by Edward Edwin Foot
Lord Arnold Delicately Sought To Name by Edward Edwin Foot
'hullo!' by Sam Walter Foss
The Northeast Wind Did Briskly Blow by James Grainger
The Sugar Cane by James Grainger
In Praise Of Water-gruel by Matthew Green
Albert Victor Loved His Mother by Joseph Gwyer
At Evening Too The Dazzled Light by Joseph Gwyer
His Request by Joseph Gwyer
Intoxicating Draughts He Never Does Drink by Joseph Gwyer
To Alfred Gwyer by Joseph Gwyer
Ada Queetie Dead by Nancy Luce
A Tragedy by Theophile Julius Henry Marzials
Accidents by William Mcgonagall
April 8th by William Mcgonagall
Death by William Mcgonagall
God Sent The Whale by William Mcgonagall
The Late Sir John Ogilvy by William Mcgonagall
Pitiful Sight by William Mcgonagall
The Procession by William Mcgonagall
Queen Victoria by William Mcgonagall
Railway Bridge by William Mcgonagall
Railway Bridge by William Mcgonagall
The Tay Bridge Disaster by William Mcgonagall
Watch-cases by William Mcgonagall
The Ancient Poets Ne'er Did Dream by James Mcintyre
Disaster To Steamer Victoria At London by James Mcintyre
Ode On The Mammoth Cheese (weighing Over 7,000 Pounds) by James Mcintyre
Prophecy Of A Ten Ton Cheese by James Mcintyre
Shelley by James Mcintyre
When We Do Trace Out Nature's Laws by James Mcintyre
Wooden Leg by James Mcintyre
A Sermon To Our Later Prodigal Son by George Meredith
Animals by James Lewis Milligan
A Child's Thought by Bertha Moore
Air -- Roll On, Silver Moon by Julia A. Moore
The Ashtabula Disaster by Julia A. Moore
Enos Page The Youngest Brother by Julia A. Moore
Hiram Helsel by Julia A. Moore
Month Of May by Julia A. Moore
One Morning In April, A Short Time Ago by Julia A. Moore
She Had Blue Eyes And Light Flaxen Hair by Julia A. Moore
What I Have Wrote by Julia A. Moore
When Mr. Dennis Does Well Play by Julia A. Moore
Midnight by Frederick B. Needham
An Elegy To A Dissected Puppy, Sels. by Georgia Bailey Parrington
On Time, Death, And Eternity by Robert Peter
I Kissed Pa Twice After His Death by Mattie J. Peterson
I Sometimes Alligators Heard by Mattie J. Peterson
Lines Written For A Friend On The Death Of His Brother by James Henry Powell
I'm Thist A Little Cripple Boy, An' Never Goin' To Grow by James Whitcomb Riley
The Smitten Purist by James Whitcomb Riley
Us-folks Is Purty Pore - But Ma by James Whitcomb Riley
And Smoke And Spit, No Matter Where by Amanda Mckittrick Ros
The End Of Pain by Amanda Mckittrick Ros
A Little Belgian Orphan by Amanda Mckittrick Ros
The Old Home by Amanda Mckittrick Ros
On A Girl Who Took Action For Breach Of Promise by Amanda Mckittrick Ros
On Visiting Westminster Abbey by Amanda Mckittrick Ros
Thoughts by Amanda Mckittrick Ros
A Circus Master Speaks To The Clowns by Francis Saltus Saltus
The Kiss by Francis Saltus Saltus
Mothers by Francis Saltus Saltus
My Hands by Francis Saltus Saltus
Posthumous Revenge by Francis Saltus Saltus
Sad, On Broadway Next Afternoon by Francis Saltus Saltus
Gooing Babies, Helpless Pygmies by John William Scholl
Beauty And The Beast by George Robert Sims
I Saw Her In Cabbage Time (a Dutch Melody) by Slocum Slugs [pseud.]
He Stood, The Last - The Last Of All by William Bingham Tappan
March by William Bingham Tappan
Obey Your Parents by William Bingham Tappan
Battles Of Joshua by Anonymous
I Watch The Sanitary State by Anonymous
Independence Day by Anonymous
My Last Tooth by Anonymous
Ode To A Ditch by Anonymous
There Is A Greater Charm To Me by Anonymous
Doleful Tales by Samuel Wesley
Freeborn Pindaric Never Does Refuse by Samuel Wesley
Catastrophe by Cornelius Whur
In A Dark And Trying Hour by Cornelius Whur
And He Held Me Fast, And He Said, 'at Last' by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Come Back Clean by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
A Love Sonnet by George Wither
Before You Up The Mountain Go by William Wordsworth
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

From the Inside Flap

Writing very bad poetry requires talent. It helps to have a wooden ear for words, a penchant for sinking into a mire of sentimentality, and an enviable confidence that allows one to write despite absolutely appalling incompetence.

The 131 poems collected in this first-of-its-kind anthology are so glaringly awful that they embody a kind of genius. From Fred Emerson Brooks' "The Stuttering Lover" to Matthew Green's "The Spleen" to Georgia Bailey Parrington's misguided "An Elegy to a Dissected Puppy", they mangle meter, run rampant over rhyme, and bludgeon us into insensibility with their grandiosity, anticlimax, and malapropism.

Guaranteed to move even the most stoic reader to tears (of laughter), Very Bad Poetry is sure to become a favorite of the poetically inclined (and disinclined).


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Flesh decayed in every nook!
Boris Bangemann
All in all, the Petras did a magnificent job of putting this compendium of what-not-to-do-if-you-want-to-be-a-poet.
Abracashoobiedoobiedoo
Why should a writer aspiring to very good poetry want to read Very Bad Poetry?
Lisa Cote, Wordings Editorial Services (wordings@hotmail.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Boris Bangemann on May 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Great poets have their weak moments, but they tend to produce only the occasional bad line - say, for example, when William Wordsworth, one of England's greatest poets, wrote the unintentionally bawdy "Give me your tool, to him I said."
Very bad poets, however, "are perpetrators of a unique and fascinating kind of writing. Unlike the plainly bad or the merely mediocre, very bad poetry is powerful stuff. Like great literature, it moves us emotionally, but, of course, it often does so in ways the writer never intended: usually we laugh."
This book is dedicated to those writers, mostly from the 19th century, who excelled at very bad poetry with astonishing consistency. Those who were blessed, if that is the word, for their entire career with "a wooden ear for words, a penchant for sinking into a mire of sentimentality, a bullheaded inclination to stuff too many syllables or words into a line or a phrase, and an enviable confidence" that allowed them to write despite absolute appalling incompetence.
Here we find the awful metaphor ("the dew on my heart is undried and unshaken") and the tortured rhyme ("Gooing babies, helpless pygmies,/ Who shall solve your Fate's enigmas?") next to one of the most unappetizing titles for a love poem ever ("I Saw Her in Cabbage Time").
Some of the most hilarious effects are created by the attempt to dramatize the pedestrian, as in the "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese", aptly subtitled "Weighing over 7,000 pounds":
We have seen thee, queen of cheese,
Lying quietly at your ease,
Gently fanned by evening breeze,
Thy fair form no flies dare seize.
Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Meresankh on October 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have to share this with Amazon.com's readers...
A couple of years ago, we bought this book, as a family Christmas present. We laughed until we cried, then packed the book up, and took it along to the big family get-together at Grandma's house. After dinner, with everybody gathered around the living room, Very Bad Poetry was brought out, passed around, and each family member invited to read a selection - ALOUD. The carnage was indescribable! Everybody laughed until their sides ached! Children clamored to be allowed to "read a bad poem". Adults could be seen, after it was over, furtively trying to memorize their "favorite".
What more could you ask from a book of poems - bad or good!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Julie on February 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
I stumbled across this book, and immediately bought it, along with several copies for my friends as well. Taking it to a nearby coffee shop, I laughed so hard other patrons were staring, and somebody actually came up and asked me what was so funny. They seemed to think I was crazy for deliberately buying a book of bad poetry. Finally, I began laughing so hard I was crying, and had to leave to coffee shop to save some sense of dignity! With such gems as "Ode to a Ditch," and "Elegy for a Dissected Puppy," this book proves more interesting and entertaining than I expected, and is also a testament to the indomitable human spirit, which warbles the strangest of verses.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Cote, Wordings Editorial Services (wordings@hotmail.com) on March 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
What makes a poem very bad? There is no definitive answer of course, though Kathryn and Ross Petras list several common elements, like "a well-honed sense of the anticlimactic," unfortunate rhymes, and overzealous use of literary devices.It may seem as though it's easy enough to write a very bad poem, given these strategies, and yet the editors would beg to differ: "Unlike the plainly bad or the merely mediocre, very bad poetry is powerful stuff. Like great literature, it moves us emotionally, but, of course, it often does so in ways the writer never intended: usually we laugh." And so you will as you make your way through one dazzlingly bad poem after another, lingering on such pinnacles as the editors have designated "The Most Lurid Account of a Tragedy," "The Most Convoluted Syntax," and last and certainly least, "The Worst Poem Ever Written in the English Language," titled (appropriately!) "A Tragedy" which opens with the lines: Death!/Plop./The barges down the river flop. Why should a writer aspiring to very good poetry want to read Very Bad Poetry? For the sheer fun of it, of course, and for the comfort of knowing no matter how bad you think your poem is, it cannot be as bad as the very bad poetry therein!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
"An Elegy to a Dissected Puppy"? "The Ditch"? "Children Disinterred"? "I Kissed Pa Twice After His Death"? Badly made horror films? No, these are just a sampling of the motherlode of poetic dreg Kathryn and Ross Petras have collected in this volume. All the poems collected are honest, serious attemps at poetic art; that makes this collection all the more hilarious.
A note of praise/concern--Speech students have claimed state championships in Nebraska using "Very Bad Poetry" selections...gasp!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Just Visiting on April 3, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not to be read in public unless you don't mind attacting attention when you burst out laughing to the point you are in tears. There are no words to describe these poets and their works--at least no words I can use here. This is a must-have addition to everyone's library. Stock up for next Christmas!
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