Is this the worst poem ever written?

Matt Haig’s poem about beach bodies featured in Meghan Markle’s guest edit of Vogue .



Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has guest-edited the September edition of British Vogue.

Predictably, it is packed full of woke celebrities and causes, from climate change to body image. It also features a poem by Matt Haig – ‘A note from the beach’ – which might be the worst poem ever written.

The poem is about the pressure (coming, ironically, from magazines like Vogue) to get the perfect beach body. Only it’s told from the perspective of the beach. ‘Hello. I am the beach’, it begins, later adding: ‘I am entirely indifferent to your body mass index.’

This morning, Haig read out the poem on the Today programme. You really have to hear it to believe it:

Has Her Royal Highness discovered the next poet laureate?

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T.P. Bunghole

1st August 2019 at 2:16 pm

Not a patch on this little gem from Joe Dunthorne, published by the New Statesman for some reason known only to themselves:-

I love pigeons even
when their claws are stumps
and they walk as though in heels.
I love guinea pigs
for the idea they are in some way
a pig. Their heartbeats make their bodies
vibrate. I like to pretend
to answer them. Whom may I say is speaking?
I love football. More people love football
than love social justice
but that doesn’t mean football
isn’t brilliant. Whenever I head the ball
I feel a poem evaporate.
I hate the bit of the poem
where you’re obliged
to hate something.
I love the piano.
I love true crime.
I love the sun
when it arrives
like a tray
of drinks.

T.P. Bunghole

1st August 2019 at 2:19 pm

It’s called “Poem in which I practice happiness”, which is ironic seeing as I am unable to contemplate its existence without immediately becoming very, very angry about the affront to our cultural heritage.

Hana Jinks

31st July 2019 at 1:32 pm

Gosh. What japes. Bitching about poets.

jessica christon

30th July 2019 at 9:20 pm

That’s why I don’t like “woke”, it turns everything into propaganda.

Bronk’s Funeral

30th July 2019 at 7:34 pm

Nah. Not in a world where Crowley’s ‘Hymn to Pan’ exists.

‘O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan Pan! Pan,
I am a man’

Steve Gray

30th July 2019 at 7:32 pm

‘I am the beach
People say I am wet because the sea weed.’


Hana Jinks

31st July 2019 at 1:33 pm

You’re Sleeve Gay, and wet by definition.

Howard T Duck

30th July 2019 at 6:39 pm

How come it wasn’t in the papers that a Vogon has come to earth?

Danny Rees

30th July 2019 at 5:00 pm

I don’t like sand.

It’s course rough irritating and it gets everywhere.

Hana Jinks

1st August 2019 at 4:56 am

Is that a tanka?

I’ll give you £200 for it.

Danny Rees

30th July 2019 at 4:54 pm

Careful Meghan fan boys and girls are calling everyone who slates her for editing Vogue “racist” and “sexist”

Anita Dunne

30th July 2019 at 4:23 pm

Come on! It’s a parody, isn’t it?

Linda Payne

30th July 2019 at 3:06 pm

‘I am the beach/and this is teddy/and this is Hambel

Willie Penwright

30th July 2019 at 2:34 pm

The Diane Keaton character in the film ‘The Sleeper’ recites a poem that far surpasses this effort. It has the power to bring tears to the eyes:
A little boy caught a butterfly
And said to himself,
“I must try to understand
My life and help others
“Not just mothers and fathers, but friends,
Strangers too,
With eyes of blue and lips
Full red and round.”
But the butterfly
Didn’t make a sound…
For he had turned
Into a caterpillar,
By and by.
– Diane Keaton from The Sleeper

David Margison

7th August 2019 at 12:37 pm

A butterfly turned into a caterpllar, Is this nonsense poem?

Jerry Owen

30th July 2019 at 2:32 pm

I think you gave us the wrong clip , I didn’t hear any poetry.

Ven Oods

30th July 2019 at 2:20 pm

William Topaz McGonagall can probably rest easy for a while yet.

Ultra Nova

2nd August 2019 at 11:37 am

Took the words right out of my mouth.

Amin Readh

30th July 2019 at 12:23 pm

To be fair better than anything managed by Rupi Kaur or Louise Gluck!

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