“Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.”
Meet William McGonagall, the worst poet in the English language, and his exquisite Address to Shakespeare.
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The website for the podcast is https://podcastshakespeare.com/. On the website, you can find an evolving bibliography.
McGonagall Online: A one-stop shop for the life and poets of this second Bard”
The real Tay Bridge Disaster chronicled on Wikipedia
McGonagall on Twitter
Sergei Prokofiev, “Montagues and Capulets”, from Romeo and Juliet (ballet), 1935
Claude Debussy, Prélude #11 – La danse de Puck played by Daniel Barenboim
3 thoughts on ““I would the gods had made thee poetical”: An Address to Shakespeare”
Yes, Sam, I agree. There seems to be this utter certainty….we may have those moments of doubt but I think the self doubt switch seems to have been welded in the off position for some. Which in this case is harmless and rather charming. Rather a would be Bard or would be Orsen Wells than a politician! (Thinking Hitler, Mussolini, Trump, Stalin…whoops did I say Trump? Must be spellcheck, apologies…)
Frankly poor McGonagall reminds me of many social occasions over the years where some poor bugger or buggeress was called upon to make a speech and decided it would be great idea to write a poem for the occasion..and so long as every other line rhymed it was warmly received. None of these ad hoc orators were claiming to be poets of course, but there was a certain charm for the fact that They Tried. The fact that an Ed or a William actually believed they were doing anything more than purely amateur perversely adds the charm factor for me: These Guys Tried Big Time.
Anyways, great chuckles and a big surprise – never heard of McGonagell before but glad to make his acquaintance. Anyone who refuses to die as Macbeth deserves his place in the sun!
Truly the Ed Wood of his age….
Haha! Jeff, that is a perfect comparison! I’m especially fascinated by those moments of doubt such artists must have, where perhaps they wonder if they’re not talented after all. (We all know those moments.) Or perhaps like Ed Wood they just don’t? Just driven on by utter certainty?
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