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Killer Verse: Poems of Murder and Mayhem
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Killer Verse: Poems of Murder and Mayhem (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  10 reviews

Killer Verse: Poems of Murder and Mayhem is a spine-tingling collection of terrifically creepy poems about the deadly art of murder.

The villains and victims who populate these pages range from Cain and Abel and Bluebeard and his wives to Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper, and Mafia hit men. The literary forms they inhabit are just as varied, from the colorful melodramas of ol

Hardcover, 255 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Everyman's Library (first published September 1st 2011)
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In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonThe Manson File by Nikolas Schreck
True Crime
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Poignant cold passion...
Evocative cruelty...inhuman humanity...
Lush, callous, beautiful and deeply unsettling...

Poems + Murder =


What a perfect cover for this book. I love how it gorgeously foreshadows the elegant, polished depravity of this stellar collection of poems centering on murder, death and the darker, more disturbing aspects of human nature. Included in this morbid meter are poems told through the eyes of killers, victims and those loved ones left behind by tragedy to
I've always been fascinated by murder ballads, so when I saw this book on the new shelves at my library I had to check it out. The poetry within spans hundreds of years, from anonymous murder ballads to more contemporary poems. Some poems were about actual murders that had been committed, such as those by Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, and Jeffrey Dahmer. Others took place in the mind of the killer, or from the point of view of the victim.

Due to the graphic nature of some of the poems, I'd say
Removing myself briefly from my Skyrim haze to read some poetry. This is a handsome little volume, very trim & compact with a nice red ribbon place marker. I was surprised that I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. Am I getting too delicate as I age? Within the first few pages of this book, I found "Mother" by Kaci Hamilton. At first I thought it was about matricide & I was totally cool with it. Reading on, it's actually the mother that's doing the killing. "That little mouth/th ...more
Kevin Farrell
Here I am reading poetry. That is a stretch but when I saw this book I just had to check it out. Poems about murder. There are poems from the murderers perspective, there are poems from the victims perspective, and there are poems from Death's perspective. I am not a student of poetry so some of these have challenged me a bit. I tend to enjoy the simple, brief rhymes that speak clearly to me.

Here is my favorite from the book:

Black Widow

Mrs. Murphy killed her mate.
The act was frowned on by the st
Overall, I can't say that this collection aroused great enthusiasm in me. There were lots of poems based on recent cases -- odd how many of those sounded similar, in spite of the varied forms used; perhaps it was that the way that the poets chose to tell/analyze the cases was similar. And the collection was unbalanced between very new (at least three quarters), late 20th century (most of the rest) and just a sprinkling of older ones. Might have seemed less incongruous if it stuck to just contemp ...more
The ever-marvelous Everyman’s Library serves up its own selection of death in Killer Verse: Poems of Murder and Mayhem. Divided into sections like Vers Noir, All in the Family, and The Mind of the Murderer that describe either the tone or point of view of the poem’s narrator, the collection features works about the usual suspects such as Cain and Abel, Lizzie Borden, and Jack the Ripper as well as a few you might not be expecting (Susan Smith, Seung-Hui Cho, Richard Speck). Mothers kill their ch ...more
I liked it, but it was often a difficult read due to the subject matter. No punches pulled! Really traveled to dark places with these poets. Disturbing number of murdered beauties and pregnant girls in the traditional verses.

The one that will stick with me for a long time: A Case of Murder by Victor Scannell. I think if you Google it, with Killer Verse you can read it online.

Scary stuff!

Nicely produced volume. The blood red ribbon for keeping one's place was a stroke of genius.
These aren’t your typical, flowery, lovely, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” poems. If high school poetry classes taught these poems, I guarantee there’d be an upswing in poetry appreciation. Most of them seemed to be about murder (or murderers) in general, but there were some event-specific ones I immediately recognized—not only the infamous “forty whacks,” but also the Virginia Tech shooting and Matthew Shepard’s murder.
Juliana Gray
Like all anthologies, this one is uneven, but there's a lot of fun stuff here. My favorite section was the murder ballads-- it's interesting to see these traditional pieces collected beside contemporary verse.
The very best was "With or Without Milk." It was an interesting collection, but overall, I was underwhelmed. Glad that I had borrowed it from the library.
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Aka Jon A. Harrald (joint pseudonym with Jonna Gormley Semeiks)

Harold Schechter is a professor of American Literature and culture at Queens College, the City University of New York. Among his nonfiction works are the historical true-crime classics Fatal, Fiend,Deviant, Deranged, and Depraved. He also authors a critically acclaimed mystery series featuring Edgar Allan Poe, which includes The Hum Bu
More about Harold Schechter...

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