The Most Important Poem of The Decade, by a 14 Year Old Boy


Derek Nichols, a highschooler at Wilmington High School in Wilmington, CA posted something on Twitter on February 26–his post could be one of the most important poems of the decade. The post featured a poem, written by his 14 year old brother (shown above). It reads:

“Our generation will be known for nothing.
Never will anybody say,
We were the peak of mankind.
That is wrong, the truth is
Our generation was a failure.
Thinking that
We actually succeeded
Is a waste. And we know
Living only for money and power
Is the way to go.
Being loving, respectful, and kind
Is a dumb thing to do.
Forgetting about that time,
Will not be easy, but we will try.
Changing our world for the better
Is something we never did.
Giving up
Was how we handled our problems.
Working hard
Was a joke.
We knew that
People thought we couldn’t come back
That might be true,
Unless we turn things around
(Read from bottom to top now)”

Some have mentioned that this poem was plagarized, but as Elite Daily reports, they are wrong:

“While there is some speculation that the poem was ripped off or at least inspired by this similar poem, the two don’t share anything but the overall concept. If the concepts are the same and this 8th grader wrote this poem, the words themselves are extremely powerful, and we appreciate both of them.” -Robert Gordon, Elite Daily

Join us in sharing this post with your friends, co-workers, and our generation. Thank you Jordan Nichols, our generation needs a reminder like this.

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    I believe thats the generation born in the late 40 / early 50s

  • Bart Rothrauff

    this poem sucked. I’ve written much better poetry. in 7th grade.

    • BartIsADouche

      Shut up, Bart.

      • Kelvin

        You can’t tell him to shut up when he has a right to free voicing of opinion. That’s what comments are for in case you did not know.

      • HannahHudson

        Love the username.

    • OhTheBoy

      Did ya now?

    • Moose

      So publish it idiot!!!!

  • DWF

    Wow! Cynicism and idealism are both things! Much deep, very meaning.

    • Q

      he’s a fucking 8th grader, asshole. i’d love to see you take initiative as a 14 year old and both acknowledge something like this and write about it.

      • DWF

        My problem isn’t the poem itself, it’s the people are treating it like it’s super deep. Yes, it might be smart for an 8th grader, good for him, but people are acting like it’s groundbreaking.

    • 67758675

      die shibe worshipping nerd

      • DWF

        much douche

  • Riccardo Corato

    Astute and sharp combination of words.
    Quite an amazing work for a 14 years old boy!

    What doesn’t work in these kind of poems or statements or speeches or any other form of criticism of the current status of society is the irremediable contradiction that exists between the “reality principle” and its media-driven, rhetoric representation.

    Including this post within this social network.

    However, it would be of some relief to know that Derek Nichols, the young author of the poem, is actually trying to live differently and, most importantly, is ready to fight for a different kind of society, i.e. solidarity vs. capitalism.

  • Peter

    Bullshit. This kid read “Lost Generation” by Jonathan Reed, wrote a pastiche (I’m being kind by not using the obvious word), and now everybody is falling over backwards by his supposed brilliance. The only thing this proves is that people today haven’t the cultural literacy to recognise derivative works as derivative.

    • And who are you?

      I find it sad and rather conducive of the sentiment of the poem upon first reading that you choose to critique a 14 year old in this manner. Regardless of his inspiration, his insight is remarkable. I personally find it encouraging that he is defying modern trends and showing an application to his studies absent in the evolving youth of today. I hope being so negative brought you the satisfaction you desired.

      • Hashly Stick Rose

        the kid stole the title and changed a word and stole the whole idea and changed a few sentences but the words and phrasing used is very very close to the Original written years ago. it’s like adapting something to work better and saying you created it. NO you only changed it you didnt create it!

      • Joseph

        You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

        The only thing this did is reinforce the laziness and unoriginality that is plaguing his generation. If they were inspired by the Reed poem then they should have said that and not tried to steal the entire concpet/package lock, stock & barrel.

        I am 43 and when I was 14 we knew damn well that plagiarism was unacceptable and if caught you had to pay the piper.

        “I personally find it encouraging that he is defying modern trends and showing an application to his studies absent in the evolving youth of today.”


        He did what too many of them do already by finding some obscure piece of work via the Internet, changing a few things and then passing them off his own work.

        That is the essence of a great many members of this generation.

  • Emma Goldman

    This is not even a poem in any way I understand poetry. And which generation is this fake poem referring to? I don;t get why people are all excited by this drivel

    • Jesse William


  • Madhava Verma Dantuluri


  • Bobbi Gardell

    Amazing that one so young is so very insightful. And Mr. Rothrauff…just where might one find your 7th grade poetry. I would like to do a comparison and just a fyi…sentences are usually started by a capitol letter. I hope that shows up in your 7th grade poetry.

    • Matt


      If you’re going to correct someone, be sure that you exemplify the correct traits of the subject which you criticized.

      • Bobbi Redday

        I stand corrected. I apologize. My fingers were typing too fast on my ancient phone and I clicked “send” before correcting it. You ARE the man Matt.

  • cynicbutididtheresearch


  • Jean Porter Shamsi

    Great poem, most succinct. The ‘gaming’ generation is as bad as the ‘hippie’ generation or the ‘drunks from the 50′s’, etc. Some will succeed , some will fail.

  • Mohsin Khan

    This poem works like an anagram. My thoughts are similar, but I wasnt able to communicate them like this kid did, when I was 14. I write of what I experienced, here’s one of my recent musings:

  • LayneTrain


  • Eniola A.

    Great poem. Sad perspective. I don’t agree. I think our generation will be known for creativity, community and justice. But that is just me.

  • Hashly Stick Rose

    pla·gia·rism [pley-juh-riz-uhm, -jee-uh-riz-] Show IPA noun
    an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author: It is said that he plagiarized Thoreau’s plagiarism of a line written by Montaigne. Synonyms: appropriation, infringement, piracy, counterfeiting; theft, borrowing, cribbing, passing off.

    just read the first line. “closely imitating the language and thoughts of another” yeah this “poem” is exactly that!

  • Kelvin

    He’s 14 years old. No wonder he’s so ignorant.

    We have made great achievements in this decade, like all other generations have. Sure enough, things seem to go downhill, but we’re HUMAN – perfection is the most abstract, impossible thing existing.

    • Chris

      Did you read the last line? If you read it from the bottom to the top, he says exactly what you are saying.

  • BBakeca

    I like it a lot!

  • James Davis
  • HannahHudson

    The link to the similar poem doesn’t work for me.

  • LifestyleStory
  • frankenmint

    TIL: The original was MUCH Better! You be the Judge:

    lost generation by Jonathan Reed

    am part of a lost generation
    and I refuse to believe that
    I can change the world
    I realize this may be a shock but
    “Happiness comes from within.”
    is a lie, and
    “Money will make me happy.”
    So in 30 years I will tell my children
    they are not the most important thing in my life
    My employer will know that
    I have my priorities straight because
    is more important than
    I tell you this
    Once upon a time
    Families stayed together
    but this will not be true in my era
    This is a quick fix society
    Experts tell me
    30 years from now, I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
    I do not concede that
    I will live in a country of my own making
    In the future
    Environmental destruction will be the norm
    No longer can it be said that
    My peers and I care about this earth
    It will be evident that
    My generation is apathetic and lethargic
    It is foolish to presume that
    There is hope.

    And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it .

    Seriously, I would’ve gotten a Zero because my teachers would’ve done the due diligence to see that I basically rewrote an entire poem using the same exact technique, tone, and concept.