Wednesday, August 08, 2007

No Memorial for the Bard of the Silv'ry Tay

Can you imagine a poet so absolutely horrendously awful that he had to carry an umbrella around at all times when he recited to fend off public offerings of rotten tomatoes?

Although Willam McGonagall was branded "the world's worst" by his own publisher (and on the cover of one of his collections of poetry), the poet himself was convinced of his genius and ranked himself alongside Shakespeare, says an article in The Age.

His most famous poem was The Tay Bridge Disaster, about the tragic collapse of a railway bridge in 1879. (A website now celebrates his work and you can sign up for the "gem of the day" to be sent to you by e-mail!)

McGonagall did indeed have his fans who celebrate the anniversay of his birthday with poetry recitals and suppers. And there is now is a move to have McGonagall recognised as one of the great Scottish writers with a suitable memorial. The Saltire Society (which fosters Scottish culture including literature) has vetoed the proposal for a memorial to the poet at the Writers Museum in Edinburgh, which honours the likes of Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Walter Scott has turned down the request. "
His work appeals to people because it gives them a sense of superiority. This is mockery rather than appreciation. So-called fans are in fact cruel because they make fun of McGonagall's ineptitude," said Paul Scott, vice-convenor of the society.
And there is no statue of McGonagall in his home town of Edinburgh, nor his adopted city of Dundee.


Anonymous said...

I say, did you just write "anniversay" ? :)

Anonymous said...

Looks like this bard is not as lucky as Britain's own Lord Bulwer-Lytton (you know, "it was a dark and stormy night...") :)

He's at least got a contest for people to remember him by :)

bibliobibuli said...

anon 1- i'm stressed. leave me alone.

anon 1 - ah yes thanks for reminding me!

s. nizam said...

Wah liao, if McGonagall had to carry an umbrella to shield himself from flying tomatoes, I might have to wear a full-body plate armour - I'm expecting bricks and bottles instead of the usual soft projectiles hurled my way once my book is out :-(

bibliobibuli said...

s.nizam - don't be so modest lah... and why not kore blog??? i am devastated

s. nizam said...

No more inspiration ma'am (I was also struck down by the lazy bug) :P