Saturday, 8 June 2013

Dead Bad Poetry

00:00:00 Posted by Ashley Lister , 8 comments
 By Ashley Lister

 According to Wikipedia: “The pen is mightier than the sword," is a metonymic adage coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy.

For those of you thinking Bulwer-Lytton’s name is vaguely familiar: he’s the man who inspired the dark and stormy night contest. This is a contest where entrants are asked to create the worst possible opening line to a novel – something on a par with Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s opening line to the 1830 novel, Paul Clifford:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

Some of the entries to the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest are hilarious. If you follow this link,, prepare to lose half a day as you enjoy the innovative wit of each year’s various contenders.

And, in the interim, perhaps we should hold our own version of the Bulwer-Lytton contest: but with a focus on poetry? (Dead Bad Poetry?) If you can write a bad opening couplet, please share it in the comments box below.

Here are a couple of examples of (what I consider to be) bad poetry:

I think that I shall never see
A things as lovely as David Cameron.


Shall I compare thee to Britain’s Got Talent?
Thou art boring, predictable and I don’t enjoy looking at you…

I look forward to reading your Dead Bad Opening Couplets in the comments box below. There are no prizes - just the fun of entering the competition and sharing your work with others.


Ian Jade said...

She walks in beauty, like the night,
Then stumbles over the cat, bangs her knee on the dresser and wishes she'd turned on the light.

Ashley R Lister said...


Good to see you here. That's impressively bad :-)


Colin Davies said...

With my left hand I worship you corns,
Hush be, my right will sooth your bed sores later.

Ashley R Lister said...

Colin - you just scared me.


Lisa McFleeca said...

I wondered lonely as an ass-hat
Stripped butt naked and doused in goose fat...

Ashley R Lister said...

ass-hat :-)

love it!

Tommi T Kekola said...

I cannot lie,
it was not I,
who ate your pie.

Ashley R Lister said...

Tommi - that's dire.

i love it.