What To Do If Your Man Is a Lame Poet - Lad-Vice

In Love & Sex by , on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 9:30 AM (PDT)
what to do when a guy gives you a bad poem


Wax (off) poetic.

Love is a many-splendored thing. In fact, it's so splendored that people have been talking about it for millennia and still feel they have new and more poetic things to say about it. Sadly, this is rarely the case.

Dear Dr. Dude: So, I have a confession. My boyfriend wrote me a poem to express his feelings, and it was the worst thing I've ever read. Seriously, it was so bad that when I read it I almost laughed and puked at the same time. It sounded like a 3 year-old immigrant with ADD and dyslexia who was forced to write in English about things he liked. How do I show him that I appreciate the sentiment, without encouraging him to write anything else, ever, ever again?

- Gemma in Pittsburgh, PN

Dear Gemma: Yeah, that's a tricky situation you got there. The poor guy wants to make you his Juliet, but rather than climb down for a kiss, his serenade makes you want to punch him in the mouth to keep him from talking.

Okay, so he's no Shakespeare, but that doesn't mean he has to abandon it. The way I see it, you have two ways you can proceed from here: either encourage him to improve his poetic ways, and through intense verb training become a monster of lyrical capabilities, or discourage him by concentrating on other "talents."

If you choose the first, I'd recommend a crash course in the Romantics. Enroll him in classes at your local junior college, where if he doesn't become the next Neruda he'll at least realize how terrible his own poems really are. Make sure to slip the professor some extra cash for special attention.

On the other hand, if you want to make sure he never even thinks about rhyming words again, have him concentrate on other ways of showing you the lovey-dovey. Does he have a strong grip, and can give a massage that's like poetry for the muscles? Can he make heart-shaped pancakes? Whatever it is, compliment him on it and he'll be more likely to pick up a cookbook, and drop the pen.

Or you could always just grin and bear it. There's plenty of women out there who would love to have their guy express anything at all of their feelings, so you should feel lucky. Write him back something equally terrible, and if he laughs you can breathe a sigh of relief. But if he compliments it, at least you'll feel superior in your irony.

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