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Good Or Bad Poetry Who Decides?


Good or bad poetry?

I initially started writing poetry on hubpages from a therapeutic angle.

I found that writing down the thoughts and emotions that were running through my screwed up head, helped me to better understand them, and how to deal with them.

I also found that poetry is a good medium to add strength and feeling to the words.

And gives you more flexibility from the grammar and speling police !!

While researching some of the famous poets I remembered that old Scottish poet William Topaz Mcgonagall.

Mcgonegall became famous for all the wrong reasons. Despite his reputation as the "world's worst poet" McGonagall's poems are, to use a contradictory phrase. So bad they are good. One of his most famous. "The Tay Bridge Disaster" has been hailed as the worst example of poetry in English literature.

Here is a extract from one he was paid to write for sunlight soap, which

might have gave him a career in advertising.

You can use it with great pleasure and ease

Without wasting any elbow grease;

And when washing the most dirty clothes

The sweat won't be dripping off your nose;

You can wash your clothes with little rubbing

And without scarcely any scrubbing;

And I tell you once again without any joke

There's no soap can surpass Sunlight Soap;

And believe me, charwomen one and all,

I remain yours truly, the Poet .Mcgonagall

So in answer to my question in poetic form.

Good or bad, right or wrong.

The verdict of this minion.

When everything is said and done.

It's a matter of opinion.


What is poetry?

I will finish with a tribute to Mcgonagall

The different types of poetry

Is wide and so diverse.

I thought the only kind there was

Was rhyming it in verse.

I’ve had a go at writing some,

I do from time to time.

But the only kind that I can write

Is putting down in rhyme.

It doesn’t really matter

If it’s Byron, Keats, or Blake.

The main thing in your poem,

Are the thoughts your readers take.

I’ve heard it said that poetry

Is a painting done in words.

If that is to be the case,

My paintings must be turds.

Your poem can be funny,

Sad, or from the heart.

Decide what kind it’s going to be,

And then just make a start.

So now you know McGonagall

I’m coming on the rails.

The title world’s worst poet?

It’s a toss up heads or tail


Charlie Halliday (author) from Scotland on September 18, 2019:

Thanks Brenda.

Yes I find it very therapeutic.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 18, 2019:

Poetry, i believe is excellent for clearing one's mind.

It lets you release your worries to the world, helping you in the process.

Great tribute too.

Charlie Halliday (author) from Scotland on September 18, 2019:

Thanks for the comments. Lora, John and Ann.

Good to get positive feedback

Ann Carr from SW England on September 18, 2019:

This if fun. I think poetry is good if you project what you want to say or describe and if you enjoy writing it! It's so subjective that no one else has the right to say whether it's good or bad, I think.

I'm enjoying reading your verse this morning, on this sunny day in Somerset. I have a cold and you're cheering me up!


Lora Hollings on August 17, 2019:

Don’t ever judge the merit of your work by the outcome of a contest. I rarely agree with the judges of writing contests especially poetry. There are definitely great poems that have stood the test of time and written in a style which maybe more complex and then there are those whose style maybe more direct as they pay tribute to the beauty of nature, love, and often times convey a message about life and the world we live in. Many of us can recognize the names of the poets who wrote them as they have become renown for their great mastery of this art form. My advice would be to keep on writing and develop your skills as a poet but don’t put much weight on contests if you decide to enter them. I enjoyed your witty article and your very clever and insightful poem, Charlie. I couldn’t agree more with your well stated verse and the lines, “the main thing in your poem, are the thoughts your readers take.” Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic in a most entertaining manner.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on August 17, 2019:

I love poetry, but I rarely agree with those who think they have the expertise or right to judge good and bad poetry. Thank you for sharing some of McGonagall’s poetry, and you tribute to him is great.

Charlie Halliday (author) from Scotland on August 16, 2019:

Thank you for your comment Lorna

Lorna Lamon on August 16, 2019:

Your article and in particular your tribute to McGonagall made we smile. Poetry means different things to different people and I feel it also depends what is happening in our lives at that particular moment. I find it relaxes me to write poetry, and if people enjoy it, then that's a bonus.

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