Having Fun With Bad Poetry

Brian Klems (of Writer’s Digest fame) brought the following thread to my attention from the WD.com forums: http://forum.writersdigest.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=19564&start=1

First post:
“I have this gift you see
to write very bad poetry
Try as I might
It’s something I just can’t fight
So I write stuff you wouldn’t read to a tree”


Starting up in July, this thread is still going strong (with more than 500 responses to date). While other random forms have entered into the chain, the thread seems to rely mostly on limericks. So if you want to play around with a group of other writers, here’s your chance.


Also, Amy Barlow Liberatore proposed on my Facebook page that we all try writing “bad haiku.” (She mentioned that Iain Douglas Kemp was partially responsible for inspiring her.) So if you want to start writing bad haiku, feel free to post in the comments below.


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32 thoughts on “Having Fun With Bad Poetry

  1. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    I agree, Terri, this has been a fun exercise to see the depths of mediocrity we are truly able to achieve! I’m glad I could get this off my "to do" list. And thanks, Iain, for your inspiration!

    Bruce, Terri, Connie, too funny.

    Linda, glad you found your prince! (So did I, only he’s a pastor with leanings toward Court Jester, LOL)

    Love to all – Amy

  2. Linda

    Oh, Amy, don’t worry. I HAVE found my prince. Been married to him 15 years how. That haiku was fictious.

    Terri, you are right. That haiku screams suckling pig. by the way, I have been noticing your poems lately. There have been quite a few that I liked.

    No more bad haikus for me this prompt. Just gonna’ sit back and laugh now.

    Linda H.

  3. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Iain, you are too funny, especially your response to Linda’s haiku. And "haikudos" to Linda. I felt the same way a few years ago. Then I found out (in bad, nearly fetid haiku, of course)…

    I waited for a prince
    and kissed many a toad but
    True love has no warts

    Love to all, and thanks, Robert, for crediting my idea!
    Visit my blog: poetmomskas.blogspot.com

    You will see that I am improving, thanks to all of you. Peace.

  4. Terri

    Too funny Linda!

    Here is one I actually saw published (yet I can’t seem to get published!)

    pig and i spring rain

    gee, if that’s haiku you could write one for every season

    pig and i winter snow
    pig and i autumn leaves
    pig and i summer sun

    I guess mine aren’t stupid enough.

  5. Linda

    Bad Haiku Prompt

    Our leader Robert
    Sends us to battle each week
    To conquer with words

    (for Patti, Tonya, and Jodi)

    Four friends who will meet
    To celebrate with red wine
    A toast to Frankie

    #3 (my personal favorite because I like frogs!)
    Just like the bullfrog
    The prince I’ve been waiting for
    Has probably croaked

    Linda H.

  6. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Bruce, the work was so funny (in Australia, they call the infamous butt crack a "coin slot," which makes me laugh, too) and thanks for the website info.

    Iain, you are such an inspiration! The first is, as befits the occasion, dedicated to you.

    Bad Haiku #1

    Iain is not a fan of
    haiku, thinks it lame
    yet he writes them anyway

    Bad #2

    Lazing in sweet summer grass
    I came upon a
    bullfrog who didn’t know war

    Bad #3
    Martha Rae, where has she
    gone, she of the big
    mouth and hair of blazing red

    Bad Last One

    Rain spatters splashes against
    my window pane and
    now I think I have to pee

  7. Linda

    This prompt is a riot. Thank you, Iain!

    Terri, the cricket haiku is just SO sad! 🙁 Poor little cricket!

    Bruce, yours made me smile 🙂

    Gosh, I love this blog. Even if I don’t have time to do all the prompts.


  8. Bruce Niedt

    This first one isn’t that original – I’ve seen versions of it elsewhere, but I always found it amusing:

    I can’t write haiku
    it’s hard to squeeze much into
    seventeen sylla –

    This one is, I think, original:

    full moon rising –
    I should tell the repairman
    pull up your pants!

  9. Terri

    I have been trying to get my haiku published for awhile. I’ve gotten encouraging words from Michael Dylan Welch VP of the American Haiku Society. But editors keep saying "You almost have it" or "You are lacking the ‘aha!’ moment" or "you are trying too hard". I am about to write a nasty haiku to get out my frustrations!!

    A cricket
    with one leg–

  10. Miguel de Matos

    Take a look at this:

    I enjoy reading,
    Trying Pride and Prejudice,
    It is a good read.

    I am supposed to
    Be Doing My Homework Now
    But I Do Not Care.

    I was concerned with
    Robert not posting any-
    on Poetic Asides.

    Haiku. And terrible. Haha. Gotta analyse Lord of the Flies now, cya all for now.

  11. Linda


    A Haiku’s Haiku (for Iain)

    It is graffiti
    Scribbled over white paper
    Japanese haiku

    Ha ha. Just had to write that for laughs and giggles.
    Here’s another.

    As I drive my car
    Bugs go splat on the windshield
    As their spirits fly

    Okay, since writing bad stuff is so easy, one last go.

    Yellow dandelions
    Are not such dandy lions
    They bite at my toes

    Okay, that’s all my bad stuff for today. Gotta’ go try to write some good stuff now.


  12. Robert Brewer

    Here’s a "bad haiku" attempt:

    The older Jones says,
    "Indiana’s the dog’s name."
    Indy turns away.

    (I’m guessing this would be a "bad haiku." It doesn’t follow the rules of a haiku, except for the mistaken rule that English haiku should follow a 5-7-5 syllable pattern. Plus, I get to work Indiana Jones into a piece.)