The Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome, one and all, to the weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

What in the heck is terrible poetry? You could ask half the internet or even half the published poets out there. You could look over the first explanation I ever gave, here. Or, you could sneeze into a hanky and add anachronistic adjectives.

Ready to roll?

  1. Topic: A sonnet about a period/historical romance. Sonnets are love poems. Period romances are love stories that take place in the past, and somehow still work even though the lovers lacked toothpaste.
  2. Length: A sonnet. You’ve fourteen lines of a specific rhyming pattern (see below) of three quatrains followed by a couplet. The sort of people who run terrible poetry contests are not sticklers for rules, however, so you can get away with one paragraph that might rhyme.
  3. Rhyming: Yes. The first and third lines of each quatrain are supposed to rhyme, plus the final couplet. Near-rhymes or too many rhymes are an easy way to terrible-ify a poem.
  4. Simply make it terrible! Send Shakespeare shivering. Wake Wordsworth! Kick Keats into Conniptions. Send your lover such awful endearments that he or she wonders if you’ve fallen off the balcony a few too many times.
  5. Rating: PG or cleaner. Inappropriate behavior didn’t exist in the past, after all!
From WikiHow

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Thursday (January 27) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Please alert me if your pingback or poem does not show up within a day.

The winner gains bragging rights, a badge, and the option to choose the next week’s topic and type of poem.

From Pixabay


©2022 Chel Owens

34 thoughts on “The Terrible Poetry Contest

  1. robstroud January 20, 2022 / 10:18 am

    Glad to see the contest resurrected. I will try my hand at something during the coming weeks, but extraordinarily busy right now and “romance” is not a subject in which I exercise any particular expertise. (Just ask my patient and frustrated wife of 45 years.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens January 20, 2022 / 11:49 am

      You are too funny, sir. I believe I don’t have enough time, either but am determined to try.

      And, I’m no lover of romance. I’ll try there, too.


  2. Frank Hubeny January 20, 2022 / 1:15 pm

    Bathing Beauty Blue

    The sky is blue. The grass is shifty green.
    The kingdom is on autopilot now
    and David has some time to look. She’s seen.
    He questions should he, could he, and then how?

    Bathsheba’s bathing on her warm rooftop.
    She wonders if the king can see her there.
    The beast can’t make its wagging tail stop.
    It fears they’ll go and cool off somewhere.

    He has a wife too many, he’d admit.
    She has a husband also after all.
    He wonders how to grasp the horns of it.
    The beast is charging for an early fall.

    The sky is green. The grass is baby blue.
    Uriah’s coming home tomorrow, too.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. TanGental January 20, 2022 / 1:36 pm

    I loves me a sonnet… and I’m naturally romantic… said me never…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens January 20, 2022 / 3:47 pm

      Ah, c’mon. I practically picked a topic titled THIS IS FOR GEOFF.


  4. obbverse January 20, 2022 / 2:50 pm

    Oh, be still my beating heart- I need no entreating to take part- Though thou knowest I lack the art- but what the hell, I’ll give it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim Borden January 20, 2022 / 2:56 pm

    at first I thought the example above was an entry! from my perspective, that is a terrtible poem 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens January 20, 2022 / 3:48 pm

      That is exactly why I tell people their poems are not as terrible as they think. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. obbverse January 20, 2022 / 10:52 pm

    Ah, old skool romance. What leads to the exchange of those sacred vows? Shakespeare only touched on it.
    Our Love Canst Wait Not.

    My love is a beauty, blue eyes, golden tresses,
    In thy sapphire orbs shines a loving light,
    I, her slave, my soul she solely posses,
    The flames in my heart burn pure and bright.

    For thy visage, my love knows no earthly bounds,
    When ere I espy thy ruby lips, thy rose kissed cheeks
    In mine chest my beating heart palpably pounds,
    Is this the bless’d love of which Cupid speaks?

    My love, know your love I treasure o’er all others,
    Understand I’ll love thee till my dying day,
    Pray I meet the approval of thy understanding mother
    Then shall we send out our invitations without delay?

    My dove, of our love doth thy father remain unknowing?
    Best marry soonest, dearest, lest our love start showing.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Chel Owens January 27, 2022 / 12:17 pm

      Sometimes, that last paragraph actually works for people… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • obbverse January 27, 2022 / 3:12 pm

        Well, there’s an innocent way at looking at those words, and then…
        Our love, so pure,
        I felt it was so once,
        But I’m not so sure
        These last few months.

        So (sew?) now those wedding dress
        Seams seem to be splitting,
        Seems ’tis a bit late to confess
        That white was never befitting.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens January 27, 2022 / 8:35 pm

          I always wonder at using white these days. It doesn’t mean what they think it means…

          Liked by 1 person

  7. D. Wallace Peach January 22, 2022 / 7:24 am

    I didn’t realize that you had restarted the Terrible Poetry Contest! Yay! These are so fun to write and read. I’m in the middle of hosting a writing challenge, but I’m going to dig out my terrible poetry muse. She’s around here somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens January 22, 2022 / 11:04 am

      You always have so much going on, I’m honored that you enter. Yours are quite clever.

      Liked by 1 person

      • D. Wallace Peach January 22, 2022 / 11:27 am

        Thanks, It’s great fun. January has been a bit nutty, but things should calm down come Feb. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. mattsnyder1970 January 22, 2022 / 9:36 am

    Bizarre Lover Triangle Er Square

    I love them it’s plain to see
    Watson well is another story ya know
    They love me at 221 B Baker Street
    Watson has a mind I equally adore

    But Em and her Cousin Cee* soothe me
    Watson has the biggest heart
    But Em & Cee make my head feel free
    Then he was shot and I had to think clear

    “For I knew his depth of Loyalty & Love”**
    But Em and her cousin Cee consume me
    Yet I still prayed for his recovery to the Lord above
    “His hard eyes dimmed, his lips they shook”**

    Watson, oh Watson my Love who I do adore…
    But Em and her Cousin Cee I adore far more, so take your sorry ass full of yourself, think you are better than me, want all the credit for cases clearly solved by yours truly, out the door!

    *Morphine & Cocaine
    **Paraphrased from the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Bruce Goodman January 22, 2022 / 7:37 pm

    Time constraints at present means I shall enter a sonnet I wrote in yesteryear:

    Dare I compare you to a hippopotamus?

    Dare I compare you to a hippopotamus?
    You know you’re overweight and find it difficult
    To wear nice clothes that fit and aren’t preposterous.
    It’s really not your fault; it’s how you’re built.

    You call me your giraffe because I’m thin.
    I try to eat a lot but nothing works.’
    I walk on legs that look like skinny pins.
    You laugh at me, and yes! your laughter irks.

    But what a pair we are! The butt of jokes!
    The fatty and the skinny grocery shopping!
    One short, one tall, a pair, a gal and bloke,
    The hippo and giraffe, one lean, one whopping.

    And yet you are my love, my day, my night,
    My sun, my moon, my stars, my world, my light.

    Liked by 3 people

    • mattsnyder1970 January 23, 2022 / 6:36 am

      Well definitely terrible in that it’s not a sonnet, so good job in throwing the rules out the window. Funny too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bruce Goodman January 23, 2022 / 9:30 am

        Explain – why is it not a Shakespearean (English) Sonnet?


        • mattsnyder1970 January 23, 2022 / 9:51 am

          You are technically only supposed to rhyme the 1st and 3rd line of each quatrain. You rhymed every line. You should take it as a compliment because you broke the rhyming scheme in turn truly making it a “terrible ” poem.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens January 27, 2022 / 12:18 pm

      You were right, Bruce. Not terrible, necessarily. Of course, everyone did a good job in not being terrible! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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