The 1998 IAP Wigglesworth Memorial Poetry Contest

First Place

"Bad Teenage Angst Poetry"

by Geeta Dayal


I take the knife from my dresser
And contemplate plunging it into my chest
Oh, the misery
It hurts a lot.


Life is an empty void
I want you to be my Tomagotchi
Why do you have to like Kelly
That damn cheerleader
That damn cheerleader
She should die.


You cause me so much pain
You make me want to be Kurt Cobain
You look at me with disdain
You make me want to be Kurt Cobain
I want to be run over by a train
You make me want to be Kurt Cobain

"Life sucks and then you die"

Life sucks.
And then before you know it,
you are
High school is an evil pit of hell.
And then before you know it,
you are
The world is a black hole.
And then before you know it,
you are

"You are the disease, I am the cure"

I am the one you say you need
I am the wound that makes you bleed
I am the fire on which you feed

"Prozac Haiku"

Will these little pills
Make me a happy person
I really hope so

Tribute to Marx

Down with the bourgeoise
Down with the bourgeoise
Down with the bourgeoise
That's all I have to say.

Second Place


by Ronnie Misra

Wigglesworth was a hippopotamus of a man;
What with his large boxers and his oversized tweed.
The latter he preferred to anything argyle,
As argyle, especially when made of cotton,
Made Wigglesworth runkle up like an eggplant.

Wigglesworth, one day, decided to present his research,
About Lagrange multipliers and their poetic qualities,
To the Academy of the Board of Directors,
A prestigious division of Jumping Frog, Incorporated,
The notorious manufacturer of sporks and other utensils.

Upon entrance to the facility of Jumping Frog, however,
Wigglesworth was met by a band of scurvy rapscallions.
He felt his rage boil within him.
As the naughty, nasty boys taunted him,
He could feel himself runkle up like an eggplant.

In two blinks of an eye, Wigglesworth had armed himself
With sporks that had been mounted upon the walls.
With the flick of the wrist, Wigglesworth disbanded
The party of terrible rapscallions, and he struck down
One, then two, then all thirty nasties.

Having witnessed the dismissal of the terrible toddlers,
Bartholomew, the founder and president of Jumping Frog,
Now in debt to the valiant warrior,
Immediately rushed into the grand lobby to greet
Wigglesworth, the great slayer of evil.

With a circumflex and a genuflect,
Bartholomew presented himself to Wigglesworth,
Still a hippotomus of a man, but somehow,
Somehow something more than a hippopotamus
Wearing large boxers and an oversized tweed.

Wigglesworth, embarrassed to see the president
Of Jumping Frog, Incorporated,
Circumflexing and genuflecting for him,
Introduced himself, noting his fascination
With Lagrange multipliers and their poetic qualities.

Bartholomew, however, needed no presentation
For to see the gleam in Wigglesworth's eye,
As he spoke, was instantly enough
To convince Bartholomew of how
He could repay his debt to this valiant warrior.

Jumping Frog, Incorporated, is a continued supporter of the arts at MIT.

Third Place

"An Ode to Wigglesworth"

by Arun A Tharuvai

In the merry merry month of may,
I was in taco bell one day.
Eating an eggplant with my spork
Talking to jolly Mr. Stork.
Then Mr. Hippopotamus came, the o with a circumflex,
My insulting of him instigating a large reflex.
Halt you rapscallion!
Or face the wrath of LexdaStalyon.

Fourth Place

"A Runkle Bodkin"

by: the Little Nymph

To clean, or not to clean; that is the quandary;
Whether 'tis better in the world to suffer
The stains and smells of outrageous habits,
Or to insanely sweep the sea of dust bunnies,
And, by cleaning, end them. To bathe, to shower--
No more, and by a shower to say we end
The dirt and the thousand natural smells
That flesh is heir to-- 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To bathe, to shower,
To shower, perchance to shave. Ay, there's the rub.
For in that shaving of face what gentle skin may appear
When we have cut off these daily pins
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long beard,
For who would bear the tangles and bird nests,
Th'oppressor's mess, the proud man's plume,
The split ends of harsh dryers, the scratchy face,
The neverending dirt that lands, and the sweat
That accompanies the stress of junior lab reports,
When he himself might this labor make
With a runkle bodkin? Who would these soap lather bear,
To scrub and scratch under a hot stream,
But that the dread of horrible scruffiness,
The continual existence from whose labor
No man is free, defeats the fairies,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than to shower at every minute of the day?
Thus, knowledge does make pigs of us all,
And thus the native desire for cleanliness
Is dirtied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And motivations to shower daily
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

Fifth Place

"My Problem, Part One"

by Tyrone Shoelaces

I freebase caffeine
I've got an ulcer
And it hurts a whole fucking lot.

Honorable Mention


by Diane Schnebly

There once was a rapscallion named Wigglesworth
Who no longer lives on this Earth
He'd get all the honeys
'Cause he handled the moneys
Despite of his hippopotamus girth

"Wigglesworth the rapscallion rvnkles ISO-8859-1"

by Jennifer Murphy

A Lagrange multiplier in eggplant and a circumflex
make neither an argyle spork nor an ascii hippopotamus.

"Attacking Gavin Rossdale with a Plastic Fork"

by Krog

You're just Kurt Cobain
In a shitty British band
Follow your leader

"34 Muscle Relaxers and 5 Hours Later..."

by Krog

Student of the month
Kickin' it at a school dance
Retching blood, asleep

"Birds of a Turd"

by Daniel Guerin and Pubudu Wariyapola

If we ate the food of birds,
would we too have purple turds?

Maybe, said I,
But not before,
The Experiment
Results shows.

For as a good Physicist
I must know,
Without Doubt
That I am true.

So sat I,
At my desk,
And ate all worms,
That I could find.

An hour hence,
When I sat
On the shitter
To excrete,

I learned why,
theorists live,
longer than
experimentalists do!

"Variations on a theme (the frivolous fugue)"

by Daniel Guerin

Now was the time, my thought to test
and so i did my instincts best,
and ate some worms, not spiced nor fried
(I'll tell now, I coulda died.)

They were, at first, not bad, not great
'til then my bowels did generate
A pressure of such magnitude
I had to act 'socially rude'

I called a doc and told her all
No sympathy did me befall.
Suggested she, with voice merry,
Birds also dine on rasberry!

"Many styles on one turd"

by Pubudu Wariyapola

Be it rhyme, or verse free,
The turd stays purple still.
Berry, berry, good for you,
But the crawler has protean more.

Many a berry did I eat,
To rid the taste of that worm.
Raspberry, Blaeberry and straw,
With cream whipped to complement.

But alas, I did not think,
what the cellulose would, to me do,
Purple I shat, many other colors too,
While upon the the pot, I took a nap.