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Move over, Shakespeare.
A fifth-grader participating in an “Adventures in Creative Writing” session with the literacy non-profit Open Books was none too enthused about the prospect of penning some slam poetry. Nevertheless, in setting out to malign the medium, he inadvertently brought forth perhaps the greatest poem of our time—unquestionably the work of a master in the making.
Whether he likes it or not, little Panajotis has a gift:
Image via Tumblr
Adjusted for legibility and spelling—while preserving the ingenious line breaks:
I hate poetry!
Poetry looks like a demon rising.
I don’t want to do this.
Poetry sounds like nails on a chalkboard.
I still don’t want to do
Poetry smells like skunk spray times
will notdon’t want to do
Poetry tastes like rotten eggs with
I will never
do this again.
Poetry feels like being frozen by a
Doesn’t everybody hate poetry?
Panajotis’s sense of rhythm and repetition, his finely controlled similes, his commitment to meta-artistic honesty—admitting that he was already “doing this” by crossing out and revising the declaration that he wouldn’t—all contribute to an expertly wrought result. If there were any justice in this world, he’d be teaching in an MFA program right now.
“Doesn’t everybody hate poetry?” Not anymore, kid. Not anymore.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'