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Poems (1952): Even Worse Verse

Robert Simeon Adams, Poems (Bobbs-Merrill, 1952)

photo credit: ebay

I just don’t have a caption that can encompass the horror.

I have completed my triptych (please, let’s not make it into a series) of terrible, terrible poetry [ed. note: previous to this I read Garden Episodes in Verse and The White Cliffs] with this 1952 atrocity from one Robert Simeon Adams, who, the Internet tells me, graduated from Western Reserve University (presumably in 1936, as a note in the front of my copy of this book notes that he was at Hawken, a local prep school, until 1932), and then went on to become headmaster of The Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington. None of which, I don’t think, has a thing to do with the poems in this collection, save that one section of poems reflecting on Adams’ childhood is entitled “Ohio Poems”. And, perhaps, because maybe some background will help you to endure the ridiculous verse. The longer I kept going, the more things I found that I wanted to quote as paragons of what not to do when writing poetry, but I ended up going with this one (arbitrarily):

“Find me a beauty
Sharp and sure
Seize it and leave it
In usury.

For all is lent
To be taken sooner
Than any lunar
Night is spent.”
(–from “The Labyrinth of Lovers”)

A lunar night as opposed to… what, exactly? If you’re reading that and shaking your head, imagine an entire hundred sixteen-page book of it. Sheer misery, but you kind of have to laugh (until you realize that once again, like Alice Duer Miller’s The White Cliffs, this tripe was published by a major publisher, Bobbs-Merrill, and may have contributed directly to major labels ceasing to publish poetry on a regular basis). ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Worst I Read, 2013 Edition | Popcorn for Breakfast

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