Pwnetry: The Definitive Pwning of Poetry
April 5th, 2007

Pwned (v.)- 1.) A common misspelling of "Owned".  2.) Completely annihilated or dominated.

God willing, this will be the one and only time I discuss poetry on this site.

Poetry…what a crock of shit.  Besides being a branch of writing characterized by incoherent and often incomprehensible sentence fragments, it's simply not enjoyable to read. As of this writing, a quick search for "Poetry Sucks" on Google reveals that I am by no means alone in this opinion. However, when I discovered that most of these web pages were barely legible, the necessity of this article became apparent.

My first problem with poetry is that it seems to contribute little to the world of comedy. Aside from basic rhyming couplets, poems rarely serve as a useful comedic tool. Poetry is also responsible for one of the most unfunny and clichéd jokes in the history of the universe- "You're a poet and don't know it!"

They say that somewhere a comedian cries every time that line is spoken.

The only way a poem can become worse is for it to become a published poem. The very idea that some editor selected a hand full of poems and declared them as better than other poems is laughable. Declaring that one poem is better than another poem is like declaring that golden showers are less disgusting than ruby showers.

The epitome of my hatred for published poetry can be found in the childishly simple, but so-called classic poem, "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams.

"The Red Wheelbarrow"

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

An English professor of mine once insisted that this poem was the result of great intellect and writing ability on the part of the poet. Well, my professor can eat a dick on this one. Even if the poet somehow did put a lot of thought into this poem, it was a criminally wasteful effort as he clearly got next to nothing out of it. Furthermore, ANYONE can write a poem like that, watch:

"The Throbbing Penis"

so much depends

a throbbing pen

glazed with sea

inside the quivering

Notice how this poem clearly required little thought to write, in addition to allowing the reader to vividly picture an erect, ejaculating cock inside a pussy, which is essential to the creation of life. The poem must either be classified as a Modernism masterpiece or just proof that Modernism is bullshit. Either way, I win.

Then we have the "intellectual" poems. These are the ones that require the consultation of footnotes and a dictionary by your side in order to understand. They are a direct contrast to the primary purpose of good writing, providing material that is easy for the reader to read. It just kills me that these types of poems are the norm in professional publications. Intellectual poetry is not good and reading them is boring and a waste of time. Observe the following "masterpiece" by Modernist asshole T.S. Elliot:

"The Waste Land"

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in winter.

I dozed off for ten minutes just from copying and pasting that. The worst part is that the poem goes on for about 415 more lines. I'm still bitter from having been forced to read, analyze, and discuss this garbage in school.

Asinine as it is, some people adore this poem for its "clever" and obscure references to ancient Greek history, Shakespeare, and The Bible, among other things, which require concentrated effort for the modern reader to understand. Big fucking deal, I could easily do the same thing with cult hit movies, television shows, and videogames. Let's see Elliot dissect this beauty:

"Action Fun Land"

The montage at a close
the music faded out
two armies meet at a battlefield
at stake, the most irresistible force of all time
things are looking bleak
evil is prevailing
led by a chain-mailed horror
but then the day is saved
by a mighty Mitch
wielding a master sword in one hand
a phantom in the other
soon the battlefield is littered with blood, limbs, and rings
Earth has been saved in convenient timing
as children run happily through the streets.

Unless you are a mind-reader or a super-nerd, you probably have no idea what the hell that was about. Here it is again with footnotes:

"Action Fun Land"

The montage at a close
the music faded out1
two armies meet at a battlefield
at stake, the most irresistible force of all time2
things are looking bleak
evil is prevailing
led by a chain-mailed horror3
but then the day is saved
by a mighty Mitch4
wielding a master sword5 in one hand
a phantom6 in the other
soon the battlefield is littered with blood, limbs, and rings7
Earth has been saved in convenient timing8
as children run happily through the streets.9

1. As used to happen after awesome action montages during the late twentieth century.
2. Most likely refers to the Triforce from The Legend of Zelda.
3. Bennett, terrorizing villain from the classic film Commando who wore a chain mail vest.  Whether it was for protection or style remains a mystery.
4. Lt. Mitch Bucannon, idealistic California lifeguard of the 1990s who could save anyone from anything.
5. Blade of evil's bane from The Legend of Zelda.
6. The coolest gun in GoldenEye 007.
7. Unnecessarily obscure reference to Sonic the Hedgehog, whose protagonists drop rings when harmed.
8. Ninety minutes to be exact.  Short enough so viewers would not get bored, but long enough so they did not feel ripped off.
9. Cliché action movie ending meant to warm your heart.

In the spirit of being a snooty poet, I have decided that my poem is clearly a work for the ages and therefore, I am burying a copy of it in a time capsule without the footnotes. This way, hundreds of years from now, it can be excessively studied and analyzed by the future eggheads of academia.  

Someday, a boring and inaccurate doctoral thesis will be written on this.

Finally, I hate the whole philosophy that the best poets are able to present some kind of clever insight or universal truth as if it's actually hard to do. Look what I pulled out of my ass in less than ten minutes:

"We're All Going to Die"

We're all going to die
There's no denying it
Some sooner than others
Old people very soon
Everyone you love
Everyone you hate
All six billion of us
And especially your pets
Maybe not today
Maybe not tomorrow
But someday
We're all going to die


"Sleep" (A Haiku)

To sleep is to rest
Only sleep can bring true peace
I go to sleep now

Gee wiz, I used poetic expression to chronicle the inescapable truths that sleeping is peaceful and that every one of us will be dead some day. I'm such a deep artist, give me a Nobel Prize. Better yet, give me tenure at a major university, so I can earn a paycheck for having my graduate students do the minimal amount of work that my job would require.

Fuck you poetry.

Printer Friendly Version

Plagiarism Friendly Version


Back to Front Page



© 2007 | Contact: