Never miss a post
Your email address:*
Name: 
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Categories

« A Poet's Glossary: Baroque and the Plain Style [by Edward Hirsch] | Main | Bob Dylan Forecasts the 2016 Presidential Election [by David Lehman] »

April 07, 2014

Comments

I've always like Ralston McTodd's "Across the pale parabola of joy..." from Songs of Squalor. This is cheating, of course.

the green bottle
in the alley
smashed
into jagged fragments,
each one a weapon

the green bottle
in the alley
smashed
into jagged fragments,
each one a weapon

I'm not sure if this counts, but Lord Byron repeatedly forced a lot of bad lines into existence by forcing us to call the infamous Don Juan, Don Jew-ahn. So, the first stanza of the first canto kicks us off:

I want a hero: an uncommon want,
When every year and month sends forth a new one,
Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant,
The age discovers he is not the true one;
Of such as these I should not care to vaunt,
I 'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan—
We all have seen him, in the pantomime,
Sent to the devil somewhat ere his time.

Hilariously bad rhyme makes for brilliant bad lines, in my opinion!

That's a great point, Amanda, and especially applicable to Byron with his multi-syllablic rhymes with accent on the next to last foot. Reading "Don Juan" you never think of lines in the same sense as when you consider the lines in one of Keats's odes. In his person the most Romantic, in his verse the least conventional of the Romantics: Byron. When I read Baudelaire I feel I am reading Byron translated into classical French with a Roman Catholic background and a bad conscience unlike the handsome lord with the limp who had to diet to keep in shape.

Worst book title: "Sullen Weedy Lakes."

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Best American Poetry Web ad3
Cover
click image to order your copy
Cover
"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly

Radio

I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark


from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

ThisWayOut
Click image to order

 


A creative communications, branding, and resources consultancy founded by Victoria C. Rowan

 

Reach a Wide International Audience


Advertise on the Best American Poetry Blog


StatCounter

  • StatCounter