Tuesday, May 20, 2008

'Ed Wood' of poetry finally gets his due

It's bad enough to hear crickets at your poetry reading, but dodging food flying at your head? That's a whole new level of suffering for your art. So somewhere, hopefully, the spirit of the Scottish man declared the 'World's Worst Poet' is smiling as a small book of his poems goes up for auction. William McGonagall received scathing reviews of his work, had food thrown at him during readings, then died penniless in 1902 and was buried in an unmarked grave.

But now, McGonagall's dismal stylings are in vogue, and a re-issue of his compiled works, including his brave attempt at a play, was released two years ago. Apparently, being declared the world's worst brings its own notoriety, because a collection of 35 poems is expected to fetch 6,500 in English pounds, or just over $12,000. A pretty sweet payday for the 'Tayside Tragedian,' as he was known back in the day.

Maybe there's hope for us all. I'd rather be remembered with a campy, kitchy vibe than be forgotten completely. Heck, that's what I'm working for now.


colbymarshall said...

I'm not sure which is worse...being the world's worst or being nothing to the world. Either way it's not exactly what I have in mind!

plaidearthworm said...

Don't worry, we're on the internet--we're preserved forever, or at least until the next big thing comes along! ;)

Erika said...

Ah, posthumous recognition. Nothing like it. (Although, I kind of prefer the presenthumous recognition.) I know, it's not a real word, but maybe if we all start using it enough, it'll make Websters. LOL. If only McGonagall had a blog...and Plurk...he'd have been all set.