Write Bad Poems

by Brienna


One of the main reasons why we don’t try creative things is because we’re afraid to fail. We’re afraid that our drawings won’t look right or that our dancing will be awkward. This is especially true for art that seems intimidating or inaccessible, like poetry.

We’re forgetting that to create good art, we first have to create bad art. If you or your siblings took piano or violin lessons as kids, you’ll know what I’m talking about. When you first squeaked out the notes to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” at your recital, you sounded terrible. You just didn’t care.

Today, I decided to try reverting back this mindset by writing a poem that was intentionally bad. This let me stop worrying about whether or not I sounded good and instead just enjoy playing with language.

I tried incorporating some of my emotions from the day, but I didn’t try to make it into anything profound or earth changing. If you try writing one, feel free to use clichés or repeat words. It might give you some good ideas for a serious poem, or it might just make you laugh. The point is just to try.

Here’s my attempt:

Wednesday Blues
Tonight, the droopy moon glimmers like
a celestial lightning bug,
a golden, glittering orb in the gleaming sky,

and tiny splashes of rain lick the
window like my cat licking her fur
after she’s just eaten her food out of the dish in the kitchen,
which is weird because rain is not a cat.

I don’t know where this is going, but I guess
I’m feeling a sort of kinship with the moon–
I’m also droopy.
Tomorrow, I still have to go
to class—summer
is just a dot on the horizon.

Want to learn more about writing poetry? Here’s another article you might enjoy:

8 thoughts on “Write Bad Poems

  1. I really appreciate hearing that art (good art) did not start out as something completely beautiful. Obviously not everything we create will be perfect or even considered worthwhile by other people. But I think life needs a few more remnants from people trying to enjoy what their minds create, not necessarily for others, but in order to see just what they are capable of.

  2. Brienna, I enjoyed your post. I agree that in order to create “good art” we must first begin by creating “bad art.” However, as I was reading I started to think about what the definition of “good art” is. Is anything we put our heart and souls into creating “good art?” Just food for thought. Thanks for writing!

    1. Great question! “Good art” is really difficult to define. In the context of this post, I used that term to mean art that shows technical and creative mastery. Unfortunately, putting our hearts into something doesn’t mean it will turn out well. For example, I could love to sing but still be completely tone-deaf. However, I do think that putting our souls into our art is very important, and we should spend more time celebrating that.

  3. I really enjoyed this post. I think some people (including me, formerly) are afraid of trying to write poetry because sometimes it seems so serious. I used to think that in order to be a “real” poem, a piece would have to be shrouded in symbolism and Shakespearean vocabulary; however, I took an amazing class in high school where we had to write 7,000 words of poetry in one semester. It was hard, but it definitely showed me that poetry isn’t always serious or even good. When I had relaxed more near the end of the semester, I realized that writing wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

  4. I want to write a bad poem!

    A Poem for Joggers

    Stay Trixie she said as
    Jogger legs flashed their rhythm
    To Trixie’s eye level
    Neon beckoning chase.

    She’s only a puppy she said as
    Trixie pulled low by her snout
    Keen on the jogger’s scent
    To intercept the air wedge Nikes holding foul sweaty cotton-socked feet.

    She doesn’t know any better she said as
    Trixie snuffled deeply
    At ankle height
    Pure curiosity unleashed
    From rules or civility.

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