William McGonagall’s reputation is in doubt — and he would be pleased about it, if he were still alive, that is.
McGonagall has long held the distinction of being the worst poet in the English language because of his tome, “The Tay Bridge Disaster.” Containing such notable gems as, “And the cry rang out all o’er the town, Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down” it would seem that it would take a true genius to unseat McGonagall.
That genius may have been discovered.
Kathryn Petras, editor of the book The Worst Poem Ever Written in the English Language, points to Theophile Jules-Henri Marzials and his poem, “The Tragedy.” “It stands out as the absolute epitome of awfulness,” said Petras.
Judge for yourself….
A Tragedy by Theophile Marzials
The barges down in the river flop.
From the slimy branches the grey drips drop…
To the oozy waters, that lounge and flop…
And my head shrieks – “Stop”
And my heart shrieks – “Die.”…
Ugh! yet I knew – I knew
If a woman is false can a friend by true?
It was only a lie from beginning to end–
My Devil – My “friend.”…
So what do I care,
And my head is empty as air –
I can do,
I can dare
The barges flop
I can dare, I can dare!
And let myself all run away with my head