It’s a Bad Poetry Day Throwdown!

by On August 15, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

Gather the kids and put on your creative thinking caps. This Sunday, August 18 is Bad Poetry Day! You may have an inner bad poet and not even know it. (See what I did there?)

For inspiration, check out the bad poetry scenes on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As this reviewer of a bad poetry e-book observes:

Writing bad poetry actually requires some talent. It helps to have a wooden ear for words, a penchant for sinking into a mire of sentimentality, and an enviable confidence that allows one to write despite absolutely appalling incompetence.

Just the other day, I shared with my family a bad poem I wrote at age seven that is clearly unforgettable to me:

To love is to live

Like a black olive.

?young writer sized

I was feeling proud until my husband recalled his own bad poetry achievement. “My poem was screamed by a high school cast member on stage!” he crowed, then recited this masterpiece:

Screaming monkeys on mars

Ate rusty hot dogs in the sun.


Our daughter Hope was clearly inspired by our poetry jam, for within minutes, she created this ditty:

Tutti fruity.

Fruity tootie.

I love ootie tootie.


Recently I issued a bad poetry throw down to my Bookboard colleagues. Librarian Cen and Head Mom Suz responded immediately with bad limericks homages to fellow Bookboard staff:


pen and paper sized

Image credit: cohdra/
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There once was a boy from Taipei

Who loved to read books every day

When he grew up

He made a start-up

And now Bookboard is here to stay


There once was a librarian named Cen

The digital world was her yen

She brought tech to the book

And said, “Hey, have a look!”

As she read Bookboard stories in the den


Not one to be intimidated by bad women poets, Senior Engineer Sasha offered us three bad haiku, inspired by popular Bookboard titles:


Richard-was-a-PickerKids read of boogers

Parents rue the nasty thing

Richard has last laugh


tractormac tuneupTractor Mac Tune Up

Engine trouble! What to do?

Friends, of course, come through


MechanimalsWhen pigs fly! They say

but chocolate milk from cow-bots

is much tastier


All those bad poems reminded me that bad poetry isn’t just for kids. So here’s a parting bad poem I am calling The Invitation:


Please don’t think me untoward, when I invite you to try out Bookboard.

We can read to children while lying in the fiord.

Or read to bulls, though we may be gored.


Need some good poetry about now? Check out the fun titles above, with clever rhymes galore!



Diana is a sociologist, freelance writer and mom, though rarely in that order. Her writing spans topics from parenting joys and challenges to prevention education. She writes a monthly parenting blog for Yahoo and has published feature articles on adoption, family rituals and the childcare industry for parenting publications. Diana earned her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. These days find her hanging with her husband and book-loving six year old in the San Francisco Bay Area, while happily blogging and serving as a reading advocate for Bookboard.

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