The great Australian poetry hoax, in which deliberate nonsense was hailed as great art


Originally published at:


Art, eye of the beholder, and all that.


To be fair, this is what all freeform poetry looks like to me.


See also: Wine tasting, contemporary art critique.


Poetry is always random words to me.


SURPRISE TWIST: The poetry critics were all monkeys on typewriters.


And entire “academic” fields


Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
Thy micturations are to me,
As plurdled gabbleblotchits,
On a lurgid bee,
That mordiously hath blurted out,
Its earted jurtles,
Into a rancid festering confectious organ squealer.


Quite cromulent, my friend.

I tried this once with my alma mater’s literary magazine. Not quite gibberish, but the first letters of each line spelled out something like “eat it wimp fuck you too.” Alas they failed to recognize great art and didn’t publish it.

I always thought the very idea of a literary magazine there was kinda funny, given it was an engineering school, with a pretty low Engish SAT requirement.


What is it with those wacky Australians and their hoaxes.


You beat me to it v


“The Ern Malley Affair” by Michael Heyward and Robert Hughes is an excellent book about this hoax. Sadly it’s all a bit sadder than it sounds - reputations were bruised pretty badly, and you end up feeling sympathy for all concerned in something that blew up a bit bigger than it was originally meant to.


This doesn’t compare to the poetry of laureate Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Sussex.


Micturation is almost a word

ETA: I knew whoever wrote that was just taking the piss


I used to have loads of micturation, but I just pissed it all away.


And micturate and micturating are also words all meaning the same thing which leaves me wondering why the hell “micturation” isn’t a word.

Oh English, how I love you. Never change Keep on changing.


The biographer A. N. Wilson was once fooled into publishing a letter in which the first letter of each sentence spelt “A N Wilson is a shit”.


It isn’t a word because micturate is a back formation from micturition. So micturation would be redundant as micturition already exists.


This reminds me of the American English burglarize which is equivalent to the British English burgle which already existed when burglarize was created from burglar which is the agent noun formed from the verb to burgle.


What is the penalty for burglarization in the US? How many years are burglarizationers locked up for their burglarizationerity?


Technically, it says “Ian Wilson is a shit II” but I’ll allow it.

See also: