The terrible poem


The terrible poem starts with an idea.

The terrible poem knows it is the best thing that has been written.

The terrible poem has spent half its life waiting to be born.

The terrible poem does not speak to the other poems.

The terrible poem is a prisoner of its gender.

The terrible poem laughs at its own jokes.

The terrible poem does not write thank you letters.

The terrible poem does not want to be made.

The terrible poem has tried to know everything.

The terrible poem is terrified of influence.

The terrible poem checks its mobile in the check out queue.

The terrible poem is not this, but neither is it not this.

The terrible poem is not a notebook, it is an empty notebook.

The terrible poem is afraid, the terrible poem is angry.

The terrible poem is not broken, it is perfect.

The terrible poem knows this.

The terrible poem spends its days sneering at other terrible poems.

The terrible poem, cast down in the brocade of its making.

Autumn of the terrible poem.

The terrible poem abjures song.

The terrible poem is not at all in love.

The terrible poem is a box.

The terrible poem storms out.

The terrible poem wants to be a mirror but instead it is the sand.

The terrible poem is trapped by its insouciance.

The terrible poem weeps at its own sadness.

The terrible poem took twelve years to write, and is still terrible.

The terrible poem just appeared in a magazine.

The terrible poem won a prize.


  1. Love it! Perfect timing too, as I was just about to start out on my terrible poem (for a critiquing submission next week)…this’ll give it something to think about! Great picture too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m truly conflicted, Anthony. I won a prize this year. I am assailed by a propter hoc argument. Logic was never my thing. Curse you, terrible poem. May you be remaindered. Then pulped.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had just mailed off a first draft of my own newest, most likely terrible, poem to a friend when I opened and read this. I can’t tell you how delighted I was. You have nailed the terrible poem, Anthony, and its course. May I be allowed a tiny glimpse of metaphor for terrible people?
    As ever,


  4. Great post. Also, in my experience the terrible poem is always too long! It stands around with a drink at parties yammering on and on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Anthony

    I love The Terrible Poem, particularly the line: ‘The terrible poem took twelve years to write, and is still terrible.’

    Best wishes from Simon

    Liked by 1 person

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