Tom O'Bedlam

Tom O'Bedlam

“For to see mad Tom O’Bedlam 10,000 miles I traveled.”

“Tom o’ Bedlam” is the name of an anonymous poem in the “mad song” genre, written in the voice of a homeless “Bedlamite.” The poem was probably composed at the beginning of the 17th century; in How to Read and Why, Harold Bloom calls it “the greatest anonymous lyric in the [English] language.”