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Giles Turnbull takes a cue from the Vogons with Bad Transport Poetry


As it's Valentine's Day tomorrow, we thought we'd share a bit of poetry. Bad transport poetry, that is.

Writer Giles Turnbull spends a good deal of time on trains and buses commuting between his home near Bath and his job in London. He started composing poems about it and now he's published some of them in a digital tabloid newspaper.

Bad Transport Poetry is a collection of poems Turnbulls says is "of Vogon-like awfulness, and likely to get progressively worse if and when I write any more."


"It started as a publication for Little Printer, a clever gadget that printed things out when the internet told it to. You could use it for all sorts of fun things, and lots of people did. At first I thought making a publication for LP would be beyond me, but I read these instructions by Phil Gyford and realised it would actually be pretty simple. All I needed was something to publish."


"That's where the awful poetry comes in. It's not always poetry about bad transport but it is always bad poetry about transport. I took inspiration from the Vogons, who as everyone knows write the third worst poetry in the galaxy, and sought to apply the same method to bus routes and Tube delays. It seems to have worked out quite well."

"While Little Printer was still active, subscribers to Bad Transport Poetry (almost two dozen of them! Imagine!) got a fresh new ghastly verse delivered to them automatically, every Wednesday morning. Despite my efforts to make the poetry worse as time went on, no-one unsubscribed. Or if they did, they didn't bother to tell me. But then, why would you?"

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"Anyway. Sadly, Little Printer faded away and I wondered what I could do with this pile of appalling rhyme. So I made a newspaper. I imagine it might be the sort of thing people could read on the loo. Honestly, it's really really bad."

With that compelling sales pitch surely you want to buy a copy of Bad Transport Poetry from The Newsagent for £5?

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