A Primer On How To Recognize Bad Poetry Online

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I have been looking through some other poetry sites, and have been quite dissappointed in the quality of much that I have seen online. That makes me doubly proud of the calibre of OUR poets, here in the Slam. While surfing, I realized that perhaps the inventory of common "trouble spots" in poetry (which I had been mentally compiling as I surfed along) might be of use to some of my esteemed fellow contributors. So here it is, in case anyone might find it handy.

How To Recognize Bad Poetry Online

The poem relies on a badly mangled form of Old English: "Ye olde heart, thou I pray thee, was not thine".

The author has a name like "SilverSummerShowers", "Goth4U", "KoRn", or "TinyBits".

The author feels a compulsion to use interesting *sounding* words, which they do not know the meaning of.

Poems which adhere to a rhyme scheme, completely forsaking all other aspects of poetry. The use of dubious rhymes, even when it results in a poem that makes utterly no sense at all. The sole use of rhyming couplets as a rhyme scheme. Ignorance about cadence and meter.

Poems that go on forever and ever, and have no point.

Pining poems. Poems that remind us how much nicer a place the world would be if only "cry in yer beer" music didn't exist.

Teenaged angst poems. Poems from a teenager that suggest that the world would not have hungry/ orphaned urchins in it, if they were running the show.

Morality poems by obviously ignorant or uninformed authors.

Tribute poems. Poems that glorify people that have already been better glorified elsewhere.

Obviousness. Lack of invention. Lack of originality.

Poems about small cute animals that get somehow maimed, but still struggle on for the sake of their masters.

Any poem that uses the obvious phrases "The sky was blue" "The birds were singing" "The sunshine was bright".

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2000


you forgot the most important clue for bad poetry.....look for the author's name....if it is "outcast" then you have some truly bad poetry.....

-- Anonymous, July 12, 2000

re: "The sole use of rhyming couplets as a rhyme scheme." -you're gonna be haunted by the Bard...

-- Anonymous, October 13, 2000

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