Thursday, April 10, 2008

Worst Poet Ever

A small sampling of a poet who was a favourite of one of my best friends in university, so I dedicate it to her. Enjoy it, Susannah! :) William McGonagall was a prolific, if poor, poet who seemed to have no sense of metre or rhythm or felicitous word choice, but is entertaining nonetheless.

I chose this specific example over many, many other horrendous choices because it is faintly polar-themed, after all. If after reading this you are anxious to read the rest, wander over to a wonderful poetry site, Representative Poetry Online. You can also find hundreds of excellent poets there, even some obscure ones which were new to me.

Greenland's Icy Mountains

Greenland's icy mountains are fascinating and grand,
And wondrously created by the Almighty's command;
And the works of the Almighty there's few can understand:
Who knows but it might be a part of Fairyland?

Because there are churches of ice, and houses glittering like glass,
And for scenic grandeur there's nothing can it surpass,
Besides there's monuments and spires, also ruins
Which serve for a safe retreat from the wild bruins.

And there's icy crags and precipices, also beautiful waterfalls,
And as the stranger gazes thereon, his heart it appals
With a mixture of wonder, fear, and delight,
Till at last he exclaims, Oh! what a wonderful sight!

The icy mountains they're higher than a brig's topmast,
And the stranger in amazement stands aghast
As he beholds the water flowing off the melted ice
Adown the mountain sides, that he cries out, Oh! how nice!

Such sights as these are truly magnificent to be seen,
Only that the mountain tops are white instead of green,
And rents and caverns in them, the same as on a rugged mountain side,
And suitable places, in my opinion, for mermaids to reside.


William McGonagall (1830?-1902)


  1. Mermaids living in the mountains? I like the ruins/bruins rhyme the best. This was as delightfully bad poem :)

  2. Yeah, this is no-kidding-around terrible. Well chosen.

  3. With warp and weft
    The poet of old Dundee
    Did shuttle tensions left,
    From loom to odd spondee.

    Enjoy reading such faciful stuff. :)


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