Kilmer

Each year since 1986, the Philolexian Society has hosted the Alfred Joyce Kilmer Memorial Bad Poetry Contest. The contest is a evening of hilariously bad, terrible, and otherwise eye-roll worthy original poetry–all performed in honor of Mr. Kilmer, the society’s own alumnus and author of the infamous “Trees.”

Trees (1913)
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

The contest is judged by a panel of faculty, who award prizes including the “Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap” award,  the “Major Props” award, and “Dishonorable Mention.” As we have discovered, it takes a remarkable amount of skill to craft a truly successful bad poem, so each year the winners are honored in the Winter issue of Surgam.

To read previous Kilmer poems, visit our archive at http://fuckyeahkilmer.tumblr.com/

Stephen Blair, CC ’11, performs “#aTwitter,” the first place poem at Kilmer 2012. Source: Columbia Spectator.

Stephen Blair, CC ’11, performs “#aTwitter,” the first place poem at Kilmer 2012. Source: Columbia Spectator.

 

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