After a quiet two decades, suddenly, the next generation of my family is back to having weddings and babies—so far this summer my cousin Janet’s daughter two weeks ago, my brother’s son, Steve, this weekend and his sister Meghan is expecting the first of the next, next generation momentarily. (She also is a bridesmaid so the wedding ceremony could get exciting.) That’s what’s happening with my family this summer weekend.
Speaking of summer, isn’t it great.
Now, to the business of the bulletin letter. As usual when facing down a blank white sheet of paper while the printers deadline looms, I default to some poem or other. Today’s is special because the author, Willaim McGonagal is universally and unanimously recognized as the worst poet in the history of the English language. By virtue of conquering the very summit of bad, McGonagal's poetry has consistently been available in print ever since his death 112 years ago. To appreciate just how sincerely awful his poems are they need to be read aloud. Here is one that mentions summer, but not nuptials or babies.
Beautiful Loch Ness,
The truth to express,
Your landscapes are lovely and gay,
Along each side of your waters, to Fort Augustus all the
Your scenery is romantic…
With rocks and hills gigantic…
Enough to make one frantic,
As they view thy beautiful heathery hills,
And their clear crystal rills,
And the beautiful woodlands so green,
On a fine summer day…
From Inverneaa all the way…
Where the deer and the doe together doth play;
And the beautiful Falls of Foyers with its cystal spray,
As clear as the day,
Enchanting and gay,
To the traveller as he gazes thereon,
That he feels amazed with delight,
To see the water falling from such a height,
That his heed feels giddy with the scene,
As he views the Falls of Foyers and the woodlands so green,
That he exclaims in an ecstasy of delight -
Oh, beautiful Loch Ness!
I must sincerely confess,
That you are the most beautiful to behold,
With your lovely landscapes and water so cold.
And as he turns from the scene, he says with a sigh-
Oh, beautiful Loch Ness! I must bid you good-bye.
I warned you...and he wrote over 200 more just as remarkable.
P.S. McGonagal was a proud Scotsman, but that, I hope, doesn’t explain anything.