When I was in high school, one of the poets we studied was Tennyson. There were a number of poems that we read as a class, and then we were given an assignment to find another poem and write an essay on it. I wanted to find a poem that no one else in the class would choose, so I went to the library and borrowed a very fat volume - the poet's complete works. I eventually settled on "Locksley Hall" which as I recall was a rather political poem about his vision of the future. But the one that really struck me was a poem that was written when he was about seventeen, "The Skipping Rope". Not because it was good, but because it was apallingly bad. Or so I thought then, and I still can't see anything in it that would make it worth publishing. Or that wouldn't embarrass the h* out of any seventeen year old boy today.
Actually, there is one thing that I think makes it worth publishing - the sheer comfort of knowing that even a great poet can write bad poetry. So, for this Poetry Thursday, I am reproducing it here, and if anyone can see any merit in it, I'd be delighted for you to leave a comment to that effect, and explain why (I could always use a little more education).
Sure never yet was antelope
Could skip so lightly by.
Stand off, or else my skipping-rope
Will hit you in the eye.
How lightly Whirls the skipping-rope !
How fairy-like you fly !
Go, get you gone, you muse and mope --
I hate that silly sigh.
Nay, dearest, teach me how to hope,
Or tell me how to die.
There, take it, take my skipping-rope,
And hang yourself thereby.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
For some better poetry by Tennyson, you could try "Ulysses", "The Lady of Shalott", "The Eagle" for a start. A google search will reveal many others.
For more poetry posts, visit Poetry Thursday
And here is the photo for the day : "Winter Trees" (taken almost at dusk as I walked home from work)