Sunday, August 18, 2013

Poetry Monday: On Bad Poetry and Good Criticism

I've been reading bad poetry this weekend.  It wasn't deliberate--it just happened.  I opened a book that had been on my shelf for a while, and there it was, in rich printed black and white, staring me in the face.  I'm not going to review it, as I really only want to shine a light on good work here (and this one was small press published, and it's absolutely possible, given the subjectivity of poetry assessment, that others might love it), however, I did think it would be fun to talk bad poetry for a bit, in honour of that experience, especially since I've been re-reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to my daughter (she's getting so much more of this this time round), and we've just passed the part where Arthur and Ford get a poetry recitation.  As anyone who has read Hitchhiker's Guide will know, Vogon poetry is the third worst in the universe. You can try your own hand at it here, with the handy dandy Vogon poetry generator:

The poems I came across this weekend didn't cause me any internal hemorrhaging, nor did I gnaw off one of my own legs, however, I'm pretty sure there was at least one poem written on the topic of decaying swans and at least one on bathtime gurgles.  I could probably, like Arthur, attempt to write something about it in an effort to save myself: "the Vogonity of the poet's compassionate soul which contrives through the medium of verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that, and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other..." but instead, I think I'll just provide you with this excellent succinct song written by Franky Walnut, on the topic of criticism.  It think it fits.  I hope that we're okay...

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