It was missed yesterday, but Today in Literatue celebrated the work of William McGonagall, who was, without a doubt, the Bulwer-Lytton of poetry. Here’s McGonagall on the collapse of the Tay Railway Bridge:
…Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.
If you’ve got a hankering for more, there’s McGonagall Online, which includes McGonagall recounting the first man who threw peas at him, as well as his complete autobiography, where he describes his inspiration: “I wondered what could be the matter with me, and I began to walk backwards and forwards in a great fit of excitement, saying to myself– ‘I know nothing about poetry.’ But still the voice kept ringing in my ears – ‘Write, write,’ until at last, being overcome with a desire to write poetry, I found paper, pen, and ink, and in a state of frenzy, sat me down to think what would be my first subject for a, poem.”
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