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Waffle House 'Poem' May Be The Worst In History

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 03/23/2012 2:04 pm Updated: 03/24/2012 3:45 pm

Waffle House Poem

The literary tradition of the American South is rich and varied. The region has produced world-renowned novelists (Faulkner, Chopin) and poets (Warren, Ransom) alike. But this week, one brave Southern scribe showed that the weight of the past need not keep would-be literati away. That's nothing new -- poets have been shirking off the anxiety of influence ever since Homer wrote "The Odyssey." What is new is the identity of this week's entrant: Waffle House.

The Georgia-based fast-food chain spurned the traditional venues for a bold new poet in favor of the Waffle House Facebook page, an up-and-coming literary 'zine. Here's the poem:

Waffle House Waffle House
We are home grown

Where the Customer is king
And every booth is a throne

Waffle House Waffle House
Home away from home

Scattered Smothered Covered Diced
The All-Star zone

Waffle House Waffle House
New home of the Toddle House

Come one come all
Bring the whole family out

Waffle House Waffle House
We're here 24/7

Bert's Chili, Alice's Tea
Welcome to heaven

What's so brilliant about this work of verse is that it poses as a relatively simple jingle, but actually contains multitudes. The repetition of the commercial brand "Waffle House" cleverly parodies the echolalia of American TV ads, and the juxtaposition of "Come one come all" and "Bring the whole family out" plaintively bemoans the strip-mining of the concept of family values for political slogans. It's hard to think of a better way to express the despair of late capitalism than "Scattered Smothered Covered Diced." And that final line! The end of the poem mirrors the end of life itself -- while promising a blissful eternity of patty melts and hashbrowns.

The poem is also profound on a formal level. For example, there's undoubtedly a ineffable method to the madness of the heretofore-unseen ABCBADEBAAFGAHIH rhyme scheme. Likewise, we can only guess at the intentionality underlying the meter of the poem, which darts wildly between four-, five-, six- and seven-beat lines. The lack of punctuation and unpredictable punctuation is surely a reference to the work of Southern son A.R. Ammons.

That -- or Waffle House just wrote the worst poem of all time.

Yep, actually, after giving it a quick second read we can pretty confidently say it's the world's worst poem. Waffle House, it might be best if you stick to making gravy and staying open during natural disasters.

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