The Worst Poet In The World - Happy World Poetry Day
It's world poetry day today! What better way to celebrate it than by recognising one of the world's foremost terrible poets?
Eight years ago I was living in Edinburgh, Scotland training to be a ghost tour guide in Greyfriars Cemetery. Being a ghost tour guide is one of my life goals and whilst I did complete the training, circumstances took me away before I was able to lead a scary ghost tour into the cemetery.
While learning about Scotland and the history of its more colourful characters I was told the story of William McGonagall, dubbed the worst poet in the world.
Here is an example of his poetry:
- A chicken is a noble beast,
- The cow is much forlorner;
- Standing in the pouring rain,
- With a leg at every corner.
Now, The Worst Poet In The World is a very impressive title to acquire. So impressive in fact, he is now considered a cult figure whose legend has only grown with time.
During his career as a poet McGonagall's public readings of his poetry were regularly interrupted by jeers, sniggers, outright laughter and on occasion, thrown fruit.
He eventually died penniless and was buried in an unmarked grave at Greyfriars.
Whilst this might seem like a sad tale I think there is nobility in persisting with something even if everyone around you tells you it's shit.
I wanted to share his story because all poets, artists, writers and musicians can experience set-backs and troubles but how you persevere with your art in the face of these set-backs is what really matters. After all, writers gotta write and readers gotta read.
Who knows? One day you too may be revered as one of the worst to have ever lived.
In honour of world poetry day and great writing in general, we'll soon be launching our new range of Bookish lapel pins. We also have new stock arriving of the feminist and crafty lapel pin collections. Stay tuned for more information, most likely before the end of the week.
ps. Random Harry Potter fact. Professor McGonagall was named after the famous Scottish poet...