“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” “revised by a committee of eminent preceptors and scholars”:

Shine with irregular, intermitted light, sparkle at intervals, diminutive, luminous, heavenly body.
How I conjecture, with surprise, not unmixed with uncertainty, what you are,
Located, apparently, at such a remote distance from, and at a height so vastly superior to this earth, the planet we inhabit,
Similar in general appearance and refractory powers to the precious primitive octahedron crystal of pure carbon, set in the aerial region surrounding the earth.

— William T. Dobson, Poetical Ingenuities and Eccentricities, 1882


A player at blind-man’s-buff, and Sympathy,
In common, have one striking feature:
Each is, you see,
A fellow feeling for a fellow creature.

— John Augustus Miles, Poems and Chess Problems, 1882


An amorous wag once sought the bliss,
To steal a soft and balmy kiss,
When Sylvia stampt (and some say, swore)
That he should gain the prize no more;
He smiled, and said, if ’tis such pain,
Pray, miss, return it back again.

The Jester’s Magazine, 1767

“Indian Corn”

Another candidate for worst poem of all time. This one is by the Rev. William Cook of Salem, Mass., from his 1873 booklet Talk About Indians:

Corn, corn, sweet Indian corn,
Greenly you grew long ago.
Indian fields well to adorn,
And to parch or grind hah-ho!
Where shines the summer sun,
And plied his hoe or plough
Blessings to men have you not gone
Making food of your dough?

In England, in France and Germany
At morn, at eve, at noon
Johnnie-cake and harmony
Increase the family boon.


Said the chemist, “I’ll take some dimethyloximidomesoralamide
And I’ll add just a dash of dimethylamidoazobensaldehyde;
But if these won’t mix,
I’ll just have to fix
Up a big dose of trisodiumpholoroglucintricarboxycide.”

Reversible Verse

As I was passing near the jail
I met a man, but hurried by.
His face was ghastly, grimly pale.
He had a gun. I wondered why
He had. A gun? I wondered … why,
His face was ghastly! Grimly pale,
I met a man, but hurried by,
As I was passing near the jail.

— J.A. Lindon


What’s unusual about this nursery rhyme?

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone,
But when she got there
The cupboard was bare
And so her poor dog had none.

It’s 30 words long but does not contain the letter I.

See also Nevermore.

“Old Joke Versified”


Says Tom to Bill, pray tell me, sir,
Why is it that the devil,
In spite of all his naughty ways,
Can never be uncivil?

Says Bill to Tom, the answer’s plain
To any mind that’s bright:
Because the imp of darkness, sir,
Can ne’er be imp o’ light.

— Charles Carroll Bombaugh, Gleanings for the Curious From the Harvest-Fields of Literature, 1890


A young schizophrenic named Struther,
When told of the death of his brother,
Said: “Yes, it’s too bad,
But I can’t feel too sad —
After all, I still have each other.”

— Anonymous