The Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to the weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

Here. is all the information you need to write a terrible poem. Seriously. Or, just copy off the internet but put the endings of stanzas at the beginnings.

Becaaaaause… here are this week’s specifics:

  1. Theme? Last week’s winner, Matt, picked a cento style poem about being compassionate. Matt explains that “At its most basic level, the cento is a poem comprised of lines and phrases from other previously written poems. Many centos …use the work of multiple poets. But there are some that focus on just one specific poet. The cento can be a sort of ode to the poet and/or poets featured. Or it can be satire.”
  2. Length is up to the poet. (That’s YOU.)
  3. Rhyme if it feels right.
  4. Make it terrible! -You know, so long as you think others will find it terrible as well.
  5. Rating: PG or cleaner. Think of the children!

Still confused about a cento poem? Wikipedia says, “A cento is a poetical work wholly composed of verses or passages taken from other authors, especially the Greek poet Homer and the Roman poet Virgil, disposed in a new form or order.”

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Thursday (February 17) 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.


©2022 Chel Owens

17 thoughts on “The Terrible Poetry Contest

  1. I’m sceptical on this one Chelsea. We’re meant to make a terrible poem on compassion using other authors poems???? I don’t now this is going to work … I’ve bent the rules as usual

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS (Glen Campbell)

    Oaths of thy love, thy truth,thy constancy (W.Shakespeare)
    Enthroned with him above the skies (J.Newton)
    She wept,nor would be pacified (W.Wordsworth)
    What is so real as the cry of a child? (S.Plath)
    And here you come with a cup of tea (S.Plath)
    Let’s do each day a kindly deed (R.Service)
    But most thro’ midnight streets I hear (W.Blake)
    Hi-Fi Rolling Stones Ray Charles Beatles (A.Ginsberg)

    Fleetfooted quicksilver,God of transience (A.Ginsberg)
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end (W.Blake)
    We REAL cool (G.Brooks)
    Does my sassiness upset you? (M.Angelou)
    Well,son, I’ll tell you (L.Hughes)
    Your love,and recompense the moon with mine (PB.Shelly)
    Of meadow sweet and white anemone O.Wilde)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My Story

    This is my story, this my refrain
    Will we find closure or circle the drain?
    She got run over by a damned old train
    I’m falling for you now, just like the rain
    New heights I’m gaining every day

    You upset the apple cart
    And one man in his time plays many parts
    The knave of Hearts, he stole the tarts,
    And took them clean away.
    G’bye, I’m going out to play!

    (Credit to; Fanny Crosby, Wage War, Steve Goodman, Clint Black & Hayden Nicholas, Traditional, Ira Gershwin, William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Shel Silverstein)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Centos are hard to write. My first attempt began as follows:

    Mary had a little lamb. (Mrs. Goose)
    Little bird with yellow bill (Mr. Wisely Anonymous)

    Then I remembered the constraint that the theme has to be “compassion”. I was not aiming for compassion in the above, so scratch all of that.

    I listened to Dionne Warwick sing the Bee Gees “Heartbreaker” and Jackie DeShannon sing Hal David’s lyrics to “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and came up with this. I’d call it a terrible replacement for those two songs.


    Terrible Cento Title: This world may end, not you and I. (Bee Gees)

    Part 1: The Lover’s Petition
    I’ve got to say it and it’s hard for me. (Bee Gees)
    Lord, we don’t need another mountain. (Hal David)
    Love should be everything or not at all. (Bee Gees)
    Oh, listen, Lord, if you want to know. (Hal David)

    Part 2: The Lord’s Response
    My love is stronger than the universe. (Bee Gees)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. C’mon Matt and Chel! This form is only marginally less testing than last weeks. Where’s the compassion for us poor poets? But, whatever…
    A Great Reaping.

    I wandered lonely as a cloud … (William Wordsworth)
    In Flanders field the poppies blow, (John McCabe)
    When all at once I saw a crowd (Willy Wordy)
    Between the crosses, row on row. (Johnny Mac)

    Continuous as the stars that shine, (Willy Wordy)
    In Flanders fields the poppies blow, (Johnny Mac)
    They stretched in never ending line… (Willy Wordy)
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow. (Johnny Mac)


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