Like most everyone else, I’m a creature of habit, particularly in this world of retirement. Once I find something I enjoy, I prefer to stick with it. One such “something” is a Web site called Interesting Literature, which I’ve been reading for a couple of years.
The good folks at the site provide a Daily Digest of literary facts, that are, indeed, interesting and fun to read. And I look forward to reading their posts first thing each morning as I habitually open Mail with my first cup of coffee at hand.
The other morning, the post was “Five Fascinating Facts about William McGonagall,” a Scottish poet I’d never heard of previously. Thanks to their post, however, I’ll not soon forget the guy!
I learned that William McGonagall (1825-1902) is widely considered to be the worst poet in the English language, a rather dubious “honor” for one to have hung on him. And, of course, my curiosity was whetted and I had to know why this was so.
One of the reasons, according to the Digest, is that at one point McGonagall had a job doing poetry readings in a circus. That in itself is rather curious, but the real kicker is that he would earn fifteen shillings a night as long as he agreed that the crowd could throw eggs, stale food, and other assorted goodies at him. Like so many other people, it seems he was more than willing to allow this, all in the name of money.
This first fact was more than enough for me to begin to realize that this poet was probably a wonderful candidate for the title of “worst poet” that eventually was hung on him. Yet, the other four items about him are equally as intriguing and well worth the curious reader to look into. I won’t spoil the rest of the post, instead I will encourage interested readers to check out the complete post at http://interestingliterature.com/2015/09/21/five-fascinating-facts-about-william-mcgonagall/