Poems by William McGonagall (1825 - 1902)

William Topaz McGonagall was a weaver in Dundee, Scotland, who, at the age of 52, decided to become a poet. He is famous (or notorious) for being one of the worst poets ever in the English language. His poetry is banal, poorly scanned and sentimental without any real emotional depth. It is so bad, however, that it turns out to be consistently funny. As Stephen Pile wrote in the Book of Heroic Failures, he was so bad that he "backed unwittingly into genius". He wrote a lot about places, including the Tay Bridge - perhaps his most famous poem, Tay Bridge Disaster, is about the collapse of the Tay Bridge, when 75 people died. The poem has many immortal lines including: "And the cry rang out all round the town, Good heavens! The Tay Bridge has blown down."