Quirky Books: Very Bad Poetry by Kathryn and Ross Petras

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Very Bad Poetry by Kathryn and Ross Petras

All those who enjoy poetry should read this book. Exploring the world of poetry beyond relics, "Very Bad Poetry" is tastefully written while offering new reflections on poetry. Not every poem is bad, so much as unusual.

Kathryn and Ross Petras are siblings. With a unique sense of humor they compiled this book. They enjoy reading esoteric poetry. The tone is nonjudgmental. One line is from a poem by Emerson Brooks. "Fear not, grand eagle the bay of the beagle." They find this amusing and repeat it several times throughout the book.

My favorite is listed as, "The Poem Showing the Most Mathematical Genius," written by Frederick B. Needham:

"One!" strikes the clock in the belfry tower,
Which but sixty minutes ago
Sounded twelve for the midnight hour.

Now I truly understand time keeping.

Some poems come from niche markets, such as: masonry, dentistry and so-on. It is fun reading poems from professionals in these fields. They have loving ways to reference tooth fillings.

Another type of poet understands the world differently. I don't know what Dutch girls and cabbage have in common, yet the combination creates lovely poetry. James McIntrye has found the common link between Canada and cheese.

Even poets who write for humor or causes are in this book. Sometimes it is so dark and uncomfortable the tension causes shameful laughter.

People who present odd rhymes, for the simple pleasure of throwing people off, are all through the book. An added feature is biographical summaries of the poet. Usually the poets were published in smaller journals or appeal to a specific audience. Knowing they are published and somewhat known is inspirational when having a similar style to the poems.

It isn't so much bad, as extreme poetry. The poetry is presented in an enjoyable way. The title is less hostile after reading the book in its entirety. It is not a study in comparing good and bad poetry. It is amusing and anyone would benefit from reading, "Very Bad Poetry."

Poetry Breakdown
Byron by J. Gordon Coogler
A Child's Thought by Bertha Moore
Two Smothered Children by Marion Albina