It has to be really bad, howler-bad! My undergraduate poetry teacher, XJ Kennedy, used to spend one class period at the end of term reading bad poetry to us. He would carry a basket marked "Cucumbers" filled with terrible poems, and would regale us with the worst of the worst. Sometimes he dressed up as Ubu Roi and insulted us.
He always read to us from The Stuffed Owl, an anthology of terrible verse, whose title comes from a Wordsworth poem. Wordsworth is well-represented in this collection. My favorite bad poem of his: "The Little Idiot Boy." But there are so many!
XJ Kennedy edited his own anthology of howlers, called Pegasus Descending. It includes some infamous bad lines by Emily Dickinson ("His Mighty Balls--in death--were thick...") and more favorites by Julia Moore and William McGonagall, who killed hundreds if not thousands of people in his bridge and railway disaster odes.
To honor XJ Kennedy's humor, I always include one class of bad poetry. In the attached photo I'm reading from "Pegasus Descending." Joe (XJ) used to say to our class, "No matter how bad your poetry is, you will never be this bad. You will never be included in a book like this!"
And when I write a line such as "If I loved you more, they'd jam me up in Rikers," I don't jump off the Tey Bridge. I just laugh and add it to my own growing collection of howlers!
Causes Marilyn Kallet Supports
Southern Poverty Law Center, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, ACLU, Amnesty International, Save Darfur.