Sunday 18 August 2019

It's National Bad Poetry Day Today!

We all know that poets and poetry
get virtually no respect these days,
either in life . . . 

. . . or in death.

But today on National Bad Poetry Day,
they get even less respect than usual!

So to mark this auspicious occasion,
here are some famous poems turned into bad poetry
simply by being rewritten as limericks,
that lowest of all poetical forms
(courtesy of The Poetry Collection blog) --

The Raven
There once was a girl named Lenore
And a bird and a bust and a door
And a guy with depression
And a whole lot of questions
And the bird always says “Nevermore.”
Footprints in the Sand

There was a man who, at low tide
Would walk with the Lord by his side
Jesus said “Now look back;
You’ll see one set of tracks.
That’s when you got a piggy-back ride.”
Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

There once was a horse-riding chap
Who took a trip in a cold snap
He stopped in the snow
But he soon had to go:
He was miles away from a nap.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

There was an old father of Dylan
Who was seriously, mortally illin’
“I want,” Dylan said
“You to bitch till you’re dead.
“I’ll be pissed if you kick it while chillin’.”
I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud

There once was a poet named Will
Who tramped his way over a hill
And was speechless for hours
Over some stupid flowers
This was years before TV, but still.

And what's this?
A mathematical limerick?

Despite everything that's been said in this post
to commemorate National Bad Poetry Day,
let's end on a positive note and
recognize the true value of poets and poetry!


anne marie in philly said...

you can tell the USA has not been listening to its poets

jaz@octoberfarm said...

jonas was right!

DEZMOND said...

The mathematical one gives me headaches!

baili said...


oh dear Debra seriously is there any day celebrated for bad poetry

i used to read so much humor about poets who are always desperate to share their new verses with others who are irritated and annoyed lol

this is why i never tell anyone that i write except to my blog friends because i know if they won't read it is okay to me still i secure right to speak my trueself on my blog :)
you note ends it encouragingly :)

Deedles said...

Now this is my kind of poetry!

Leanna said...

The mathematical limerick was so cool. I wish I could remember the one that the algebra teacher in my high school came up with. It was cute and really kind of funny. These are all so good.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Your posts are like a fragrant morning breeze, softly enveloping us with their warmth and cheerful blah blah blah! Lol, these were awful!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I enjoy all your posts. But this one, my friend, this one is my favorite. From the loquacious (and repetitious) Raven to the not dying while chillin', and then that closing. What a delight!

Old Lurker said...

I don't understand. Those were pretty good poems. They scanned, they rhymed, and they were clever. You will have to look harder to find bad ones. Why don't you ask some angsty teenagers?

Lady M said...

hee hee hee - piggyback ride from Jesus - cracking up about that.

^.^ said...

I like them all, friend D … but I looove the chicken one! Always, cat.

Tasker Dunham said...

A blogger and seeker called Debra
She smiled as she rode on a zebra
The stripes on the hide
Were different each side
Just like an unbalanced algebra

e said...

What a brilliant post! Love the headstone... could be me own, when the time comes.
I'm not a big fan of limericks, but those were funny. Especially the mathematical one.
This morning I am charmed by you and your devilish wit. Cheers!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Tasker Dunham -- I take back everything bad that I said about limericks! Yours is a work of sheer genius!

Guillaume said...

My contribution:

Adam said...

I hate poetry to be honest.

Bea said...

My hat is off to Tasker. Well done, sir!

Ur-spo said...

oh but I like a good poem - and a bad one makes me retch. I survived Vogon

peppylady (Dora) said...

Now I would flunk a poetry class, but I know what I like and don't like.
Coffee is on

Powdered Toast Man said...

A lot of times I don't know if poetry is good or bad. I figure if I don't understand it then it is probably good.

I loved the limericks.

Barbara said...

All great. The math was perfect. I've been thinking that I need to do a little poetry reading since society seems to have given up that art form.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Smiling all the way through and then the real deal at the end gave me a shiver even though it’s nit the first time I’ve read it. So I reread the math limerick. Do you know the one about the guy from Grant’s Pass... who had balls that were made out of brass?

Bob said...

Math AND limericks?
My head hurts.

Hena Tayeb said...

Some great posts.. never been a big fan of poems.. said...

Love the bit: "years before TV, but still."
Thanks for the giggles, Debra.
A good week to you, Rare One, and HRH.

Bill Lisleman said...

I enjoyed those "Cliff Notes" versions written as limericks. Did you have Cliff Notes in Canadian schools? Also I've never seen a poem that could be written as an equation. Very odd.

Lisa said...

I couldn't stop laughing, so of course I had to steal from you.

Jill said...

You lost me on the math one, lol. My least favorite subject :-) Hope your week is off to a great start!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Bill Lisleman -- We had Coles Notes which were essentially the same thing. They got me through many a class!

Professor Chaos said...

Dang, I laughed out loud at some of those limericks! And none of them were even set in Nantucket.

yellowdoggranny said...


The Captain said...

I love a good limerick, it's the only poetry I 'get'.

Ol'Buzzard said...

Poetry is in the eyes of the beholder.
the Ol'Buzzard

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ JACKIESUE -- Thanks, YDG, I knew I could count on you!

bj said...

i agree with Jonas

This N That said...

Not a fan of poetry but.....this was great!!! Fun Limericks...Love the Math...Hope you are having a good week...

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

You can't go wrong with daffodils.

Ole Phat Stu said...

We had a bad poetry day in Germany too,
so here's a ballad I wrote almost 30 years ago...

Jock McDonald's Heimweg

(c) Stu Savory, 1990·

Wenn du fragtst, wie diese Zeilen,
Diese Reime hier entstehen,
Ich werd sagen, "Aus den Bergen,
Aus den Bergen hoch im Norden,
Aus dem Wald und Moor (dem tiefen),
Aus den Seen, aus dem Hochland,
Aus der Seele eines Schotten."

Jock MacDonald hieß der Schotte,
Hochland-Schotte, fern der Heimat,
Sitzt in Henglarn schreibt Gedichte,
Schreibt Geschichten voll mit Terror,
Mit dem Horror dunkler Seelen,
Quält der Teufel seine Seele?
Tiefe schwere, schwarze Seele?

Tief ist auch das Loch Ness Wasser,
Wo das Monster zeigt sich manchmal
vor den Schotten auf dem Heimweg.
Auf dem Heimweg aus der Kneipe,
mit zu viel des guten Whiskys,
Single Malt, alt, nun zwölf Jahre,
wärmt die Seele Jock MacDonalds.

Whiskyfahne stoppt Gedanken;
Läßt ihn auf dem Heimweg wanken,
Auf dem Heimweg bei dem Wasser.
Tiefe, dunkle, alte, Wasser
wo das Monster nun seit Jahren,
sich versteckt vor all den Scharen
die mit Kameras es suchen.

Mit der Kamera, Japaner
und die Amis, voll beladen
in den schwarzen, schweren Taschen.
Auf dem Rücken die Stative,
hoffend Nessie dort zu knipsen
Auf dem See, dem Loch Ness Wasser.

Lebt die Nessie, unser Monster
in diesem Wasser oder Seelen,
Dunkle Seelen Hochland-Schotten?
Lebt nur dort und nicht bei Sonne
wo Touristen mit den Kameras
sie belichten und mit Wonne
An die Presse tun berichten.

Nun steigt das Monster aus dem Wasser,
In den Mondschein dunkel glitzernd.
Wasserperlen fallen tropfend,
Fallen Tropfen, auf die Straße,
Auf der Straße silber glänzend
Auf der Straße vor dem Schotten,
Hochland-Schotte, auf dem Heimweg.

Jock erschreckt sich ganz gewaltig,
ahnt, die Nessie vor sich stehend,
kann die Nessie nicht klar sehen,
Dunkel in dem Mondlicht stehend,
Fahles Mondlicht läßt nur ahnen,
Läßt nur ahnen, wie die Nessie
fletscht die Zähne diesen Abend.

Mondhell ist die Nacht für Nessie.
Aus dem tiefen, schwarzen Wasser,
Dieses Monster hat gerochen,
hat gerochen seine Fahne.
Whiskyfahne herb und rauchig
Rauchig wie der Torf am Wasser
wo das dunkle Monster wohnt.

Ganz betrunken ist der Schotte
sicher niemals, obwohl schwankend.
Neben ihm die alte Mauer,
alte Mauer Efeu-rankend,
Hilft der Schotte sich zu stützen,
während er die Flasche Whisky
leert in einem vollen Zug.

Holt er dann aus seiner Tasche,
schwarze Zigarette, eine Masche,
wie Jock aus dem Ausland schmuggelt,
Holland oder Frankreich schmuggelt.
Im Fischerboot bei dunklen Mondschein
bei Viertelmond und Flut zu schmuggeln
so verdient er schwarz ein Zubrot.

Und die Nessie sie hat Hunger.
Sie hat Hunger auf den Schotten.
Lecker schmecken Hochlandschotten,
besser noch als alle Sprotten.
Alle Sprotten, die sie immer
täglich jeweils ohne Wimmern
frißt im Unterwasserzimmern!

Zigarette zwischen Lippen;
Streichholz holt er aus sein Sporran,
will die Zigarette zünden,
aber Nessie will ihn munden,
streckt deshalb den Kopf nach unten,
schreckt den Schotten mit ihr'n bunten,
regenbogenfarbnen Augen.

Zündet Jock die Zigarette,
seine schwarze Schmuggelware,
Zündet gleich die Whiskyfahne.
Flammen aus dem Munde stoßend
schreckt er Nessie, die die Lippen
lecken wollte, ganz im Hunger
ihrem Hunger auf den Schotten.

Flammenwerfend wie ein Drache,
torkelt an der Mauer der Schotte.
Nessie hatte Angst vor Drachen,
Drachen die vor tausend Jahren,
als Rivalen fraßen Walen.
Und sie warf sich in das Wasser
und sank dabei 'ne Fischerflotte.

Von Tourismus kann man leben,
nur wenn die Leute dort was geben,
wenn das Monster sich tut zeigen
Und nicht dort wie ein recht feiger
Drachen sich im Tiefen schweigend
Angst vor Flammen und dem Whisky.
Der zwölf Jahre alt Malt Whisky.

Ohne Geld kann man nicht leben
Nicht ohn' Whisky, ohne Haus.
Und so unser Hochlandschotte,
ging dort weg, wanderte aus.
Ging nach Deutschland, ging nach Henglarn,
Schreibt Gedichte um zu leben,
Wenn Du dies glaubst, gib einen aus!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Ole Phat Stu -- Thanks for including your epic poem! I don't read German, alas, but I can tell that whisky is a prominent theme, which is always a good subject for a poem!

Ole Phat Stu said...

OK, Debra, here's one I wrote about 1990 in English.
But beware, it IS rather Vogon ;-)

See, see the dead and vapid blogsite flail about
Marvel at its vomit-coloured geek's lay-out.
And lack of content! Tell me, blogger, does it cause you
To wonder why the blogosphere ignores you?

Why their feeble stare makes you feel off-stage?
I can tell you : E'en your shag is
Worried by your whifflesnaffig faecial page
That looks like an aborted haggis.

What's more, the blogosphere sure knows
Your futt-grunting blog smells of peigh, or pee or 22/7
Rotting under the big dead sky.
It ars*k*s* "Why,
Why do you even bother? You couldn't charm a Tellurium-breather's nose ;-)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Ole Phat Stu -- Where's my towel?

Magic Love Crow said...

Great post Debra!!! I love the famous poems, turned bad! And, I love what Jonas said!

Rommy said...

*snicker* I need to show that math one to the boychild.

Liz Hinds said...

My sort of poetry! Also the gravestone ... too accurate!

Fundy Blue said...

Loved the mathematical limerick and all the rest!

Tasker Dunham said...

Don't know why this popped into my head in the middle of the night, a more cohesive version of the limerick:

A blogger and seeker named Debra
She sidesaddle rode on a zebra
The stripes on the hide
Were different each side
But her legs balanced out the algebra

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Tasker Dunham -- I like this version even better! It's brilliant! And I'm sorry if this blog is disturbing your sleep, LOL!

Tasker Dunham said...

I think it's that the earlier version rhymed but was quite contrived (it echoed the "young lady of Riga who smiled as she road on a tiger") whereas this revision seems self-contained and complete. Obviously takes my sub-conscious a month to work things out. The best ideas often arrive when you are not thinking about them.