The Worst Poet in the World
February 19, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
The handwritten manuscript of a poem by the man considered the worst poet in the English language, William Topaz McGonagall, is expected to fetch up to £3,000 at auction. While the doggerel-esque verse, “In Praise of the Royal Marriage,” is certainly no threat to Tennyson, it doesn’t seem worthy of the dead-fish and rotten-egg tributes the Scottish bard’s performances regularly elicited on the music hall stage. His most infamous work is probably “The Tay Bridge Disaster,” commemorating an 1879 bridge collapse in which numerous train passengers were killed; it is either a masterpiece of outsider art or of insensitivity.
Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay! Alas! I am very sorry to say That ninety lives have been taken away On the last Sabbath day of 1879, Which will be remember’d for a very long time.