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D.B. Wyndham-Lewis
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The Stuffed Owl - An anthology of Bad Verse

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The classic collection of mostly British 'bad verse' - inappropriate, poorly written or just plain nuts - from poets both famous, infamous or virtually unknown.
Published 2003 by The New York Review of Books (first published 1930)
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The editors of this book must have literally enjoyed a hoot when compiling this compellingly readable selection of extracts of Bad Verse emanating from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

What is so enchanting about the exquisite breadth of Bad Verse to be found within the pages of “The Stuffed Owl”, is that as one wipes the tears of laughter from ones’ eyes, one winces for those mighty poets brought verily so to their knees. As a Brit, I cautiously venture to suggest that the
There's some pretty funny stuff in here. First published in 1930, it takes aim at poets of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The editors (D.B. Wyndham Lewis and Charles Lee) restricted their selection to dead poets, understandably enough. This edition, reissued as part of the terrific New York Review Books Classics series, has an introduction by Billy Collins.

Apart from some of the most hilariously dreadful verse you're ever likely to encounter, the book has the following attractive features:

Dami (Damiellar)
I just love this book.

I was directed to it via The Book of Heroic Failures: The Official Handbook of the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain so was quite pleased indeed when I came across it (and only at $3!)

This is unabashedly bad poetry. The book starts off with a some 1 or 2 line excerpts but it's the longer ones which I enjoy most

An example:

What is liquid - Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle

All that doth flow we cannot liquid name,
Or else would fie and water be the same;
But that is
Samantha Waxman
One of my all-time favorites, this book is filled with the most glorious clunkers ever to grace a the English language, and a tremendous index to boot. Here's a taste, about a gentleman who accidentally ate a poisonous mushroom: And in a dark and trying hour / (Man hath his days of woe!), / He found in vegetable power / A dreadful, deadly foe!
The finest collection of truly terrible poetry you could wish for. Clunkers from some surprising quarters, including Wordsworth, Dryden and Tennyson. Hymn-writers give good value: "Oh may thy powerful word | Inspire the feeble worm | To rush into thy kingdom, Lord | And take it as by storm." And how about "Life scums the cream of beauty with Time's spoon" - oh! How true, how very true! And how beautifully put! Open any page at random, and gems like that fall out.
Fun collection of some very awful poetry, by poets both renowned and obscure. If you're a writer, this book is a great ego boost.
Jacques Bromberg
This collection is kind of fun, but it really is full of some god-awful poetry. It's hard to believe that some of this stuff is for real!
One of the funniest books I've ever read.
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NYRB Classics: The Stuffed Owl: An Anthology of Bad Verse 1 4 Oct 30, 2013 07:36PM  
Dominic Bevan Wyndham-Lewis FRSL, was a British writer best known for his humorous contributions to newspapers and his biographies. He was educated at Oxford, and prior to serving in the Welch Regiment during World War I, he had intended to pursue a career in the legal profession. But after suffering two bouts of shell shock and one of malaria, he set his sights on journalism.

Following the war, he
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