Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'Please don't worry if you feel you have no talent . .'

Today I came home planning to do a bit of writing.
Instead I spent an hour exploring the internet, another hour watching television, a half an hour berating myself for not writing, and a final half hour telling myself there was no point in trying to write anything anyway, because it was almost certain to be rubbish, and everything worthwhile has already been written - Like this:

The Tay Bridge Disaster
William Topaz McGonagall (1879)

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

’Twas about seven o’clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clods seem’d to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem’d to say --
“I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.”

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say --
“I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers’ hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov’d most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.

So the train mov’d slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o’er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill’d all the people’s hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav’d to tell the tale
How the disaster happen’d on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed

The Scottish American Society holds an annual contest in William MacGonagle's honour.

'Get out your pen and paper. Get ready for the poetry contest in May. Yes, folks, it's the William MacGonagle contest once again. The competition will be fierce. And please don't worry if you feel you have no talent. This is exactly what is required. '


  1. I came looking for a Nature Note post from Rambling Woods.
    I love your site - very unique.

  2. Is this the competition for the worst poetry ever written? - Count me in!

  3. Hi..I came to find a Nature Notes post as you signed up on the Mr. Linky, but I can't find the post you intended to use for the meme.

    I went back and read all of your blog posts and you said you are new to blogging. The point of a meme is that a particular blogger will post on a certain 'theme' and other bloggers will all write a post on that particular them. The idea is that you get to visit blogs that are all writing with the same idea.

    I just started Nature Notes and my intent was to have a meme where bloggers could write a post about nature using word, photographs, drawings, poetry or what ever.

    So you wrote you post and in your post label it as a "Nature Notes" post and add my blog link as a reference. Then you would come to my blog and sign up indicating that your Nature Notes post is ready. Then people also participating in Nature Notes will visit you and leave a comment and you should visit them and leave a comment.

    If I can help, come and leave a comment. Your blog is very unique especially as writing is not one of my abilities....Michelle