Can You Write Bad Poetry?

Can You Write Bad Poetry?

Here’s another idea for your writing journal. It comes from an author of humorous YA novels, David Lubar. On his website (in a section of classroom writing exercises), he challenges you to write . . . “Bad Poetry”!

The idea comes from one of his books, Hidden Talents, in which a teacher writes bad poetry (but doesn’t realize that it’s terrible).

It’s fun to write a really, really bad poem (on purpose!).

Why? Lubar says “I believe that when you intentionally do something badly, you need to know as much as possible about how to do it well.” He says thinking about what makes poetry bad . . . helps you think about what makes it good! And it’s fun!

Give it a whirl. Write a bad poem.

Not just a weak one. A really dreadful, eyeball-rolling, laugh-out-loud corny poem.

(Then, if you want to write a good one, you might avoid some of those things . . . like stating the obvious over and over, or using worn-out clichés, or bad taste – unless you’re using it for humor like David Lubar does . . . or being too vague, or jumping around from unrelated thing to thing . . . or “woe is me” mooniness . . .  or puppy-dog, syrupy-sweet sappiness . . . or . . . )

You get the idea.

Like anything, practice makes perfect. After your first attempt, try again. Come on . . . you can write a worse poem that that!

And if you need a break, you might read some of David Lubar’s books. Hidden Talents, for instance, is an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, sort of like Holes by Louis Sachar. It’s about a kid sent to a reform school, Edgeview Alternative, who joins forces with some other odd kids with odd talents. They turn things upside down (and save the day). To check it out, here’s the first chapter.

1 Comment

  1. Wow That’s good.
    I am thinking on how to start writing a Bad Poetry..
    Will it be helpful for me and for others?
    Well that is the greatest challenge, HOW TO WRITE A BAD POETRY?

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