So Bad It’s Good: The Best Bad Poets in English Literature

Interesting Literature

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle enjoys some good bad poetry courtesy of The Joy of Bad Verse

I’ve long been a fan of Nicholas Parsons. No, not that one – although who could fail to appreciate the sharp wit of the Just a Minute host? – but Nicholas T. Parsons, the author of one of the best books of literary trivia out there (The Book of Literary Lists), an enjoyable history of the guidebook (Worth the Detour: A History of the Guidebook), and what I’d consider his Magnificent Octopus, The Joy of Bad Verse. This book was published in 1988, so you can consider this ‘review’ a sort of 30-year retrospective. It’s well worth tracking down.

Parsons’ The Joy of Bad Verse is a scholarly and readable study of the history of ‘bad verse’ down the age. What…

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