So what (exactly) IS Bad Poetry?

“Had a love affair with Nina
In the back of my Cortina
A seasoned-up hyena
Could not have been more obscener
She took me to the cleaners
And other misdemeanours
But I got right up between her
rum…..
…….and her Ribena”

(Ian Dury, ‘Billericay Dicky’)

So, to answer the above question: What exactly is ‘bad poetry’?

……..not sure I can tell you ‘exactly’.

But Bad Poetry is not ‘proper’ poetry.

As we all know, proper poetry is Keats or Lemn Sissay or Carole Ann Duffy or Larkin.

Bad Poetry is more inclined towards song lyrics or so-called ‘slam’ poetry. Just like these two distant cousins, bad poetry is best accompanied by good delivery. For this reason it is best delivered by the author. It is (in essence) a performance art.

Elsewhere on this website lies a link to past and future readings by Jody Redmires.

Bad Poetry is often written in a street or colloquial vernacular. It (usually) rhymes. It is often less ethereal and obtuse than proper poetry – more accessible, some might say. Not better, and not worse.

You have come across it before, even if you don’t realise it. Bad poetry is Victoria Wood, Pam Ayers, Alan Bennett (on one of his better days), John Cooper Clarke, Alexei Sayle, Ian Dury, Eminem, and so on.

It is Little and Large or The Chuckle Brothers……..and it’s from me…to you.

It is Barker and Corbett’s “Four candles….nah…..’andles…for forks”.

It is Cooper Clarkes oh-so spot on skit on the Daily Express.

One of its more recent champions is Alex Turner.

It is not Hughes and Plath.

Read on, and if you wish to be involved in the ‘Bad Poetry’ initiative, get in touch with the self-appointed President of the Bad Poets Society, Jody Redmires.

 

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