Accomplishments and Records

A Poet of No Distinction

According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Vogon poetry is among the worst to be found anywhere.

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, the 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.
Flop, plop,
Above, beneath.
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
(Plop, plop
The barges flop
Drip, drop.)
I can dare, I can dare!
And let myself all run away with my head
And stop.
Plop, flop,

Quoth the Parrot, “Pretty Boy… Nevermore… Polly Got a Cracker? Nevermore…”

One of the most famous poems in American literature started as something quite different. The eponymous talking bird who is featured in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” was originally cast as a multi-colored feathered cousin.

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How to Write 100,000,000,000,000 Poems

A sonnet is a one-stanza, 14-line poem, written in iambic pentameter. William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all of which are required reading for students of great literature. Shakespeare may be the most famous writer of sonnets, but he is by no means the most prolific. That distinction is held by the man who wrote 100,000,000,000,000…

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God in the Quad — Do Trees Disappear When You Stop Looking?

Anglican bishop and philosopher George Berkeley (1685-1753) was famous for his theory of immaterialism. He linked existence to perception. He suggested that material things do not exist in and of themselves but are little more than illusions that spring into being as a result of being perceived. Admittedly, that’s a gross oversimplification of a complex…

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