30 March 2009

The Tayside tragedian on the Bard

AN ADDRESS TO SHAKESPEARE by William McGonagall

Immortal! William Shakespeare, there's none can you excel,
You have drawn out your characters remarkably well,
Which is delightful for to see enacted upon the stage
For instance, the love-sick Romeo, or Othello, in a rage;
His writings are a treasure, which the world cannot repay,
He was the greatest poet of the past or of the present day
Also the greatest dramatist, and is worthy of the name,
I'm afraid the world shall never look upon his like again.
His tragedy of Hamlet is moral and sublime,
And for purity of language, nothing can be more fine
For instance, to hear the fair Ophelia making her moan,
At her father's grave, sad and alone....
In his beautiful play, "As You Like It," one passage is very fine,
Just for instance in fhe forest of Arden, the language is sublime,
Where Orlando speaks of his Rosilind, most lovely and divine,
And no other poet I am sure has written anything more fine;
His language is spoken in the Church and by the Advocate at the bar,
Here and there and everywhere throughout the world afar;
His writings abound with gospel truths, moral and sublime,
And I'm sure in my opinion they are surpassing fine;
In his beautiful tragedy of Othello, one passage is very fine,
Just for instance where Cassio looses his lieutenancy
... By drinking too much wine;
And in grief he exclaims, "Oh! that men should put an
Enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains."
In his great tragedy of Richard the III, one passage is very fine
Where the Duchess of York invokes the aid of the Divine
For to protect her innocent babes from the murderer's uplifted hand,
And smite him powerless, and save her babes, I'm sure 'tis really grand.
Immortal! Bard of Avon, your writings are divine,
And will live in the memories of your admirers until the end of time;
Your plays are read in family circles with wonder and delight,
While seated around the fireside on a cold winter's night.

Ah utterly sublime!

73 comments:

Claudia said...

Excruciatingly remarkable. The Bard must be groaning in his eternal sleep. Never heard of McGonagall. Now I see the reason. Hope I'm not hurting one of your friends, or maybe YOU (?), as anonymous rimer? Please, tell me it isn't so...:)

jams o donnell said...

Ah no Claudia, McGonagall existed. He plied his trade in the latter 19th century. He is a national treasure, despite being one of the worst poets ever!

Claudia said...

I guess he's a bit like our Canadian Cheese poet. Not that I want to put myself on a higher level, but at least McEntyre's descriptions were pleasant to taste! Hope you're doing well, cast et al...

jams o donnell said...

Ah yes Claudie, they are kindred spirits. True, McIntyre's subjects were tastier!

Sean Jeating said...

Reading the above
I do almost cough.

Those who would not know
the Scottish Topaz and deeply bow
like the other William and any raven
should really fall into the Avon.

A statue for McGonagall
demands McSeanagall!

jams o donnell said...

It has been forever hard
to emulate the Tayside bard
He now the august pen of McSeanagall
has bettered e'en the Topaz doggerel

Bravo sir!

Claudia said...

Once a day, I can suffer
Maybe one boring rimer.
If two more, I'm asked to try
I'm simply starting to cry...

Too rough...Enough...

Sean Jeating said...

Your kind words let me blush
so that I'd like in a rush
to praise you with a sonnet.
Ach, if only your name were O'Donnett.

As it's not I am kicking the wall,
and wish the peace of the night,
Yours humble
McSeanagall

Claudia said...

Quality,
I did not recognize.
Deeply,
I apologize.

jams o donnell said...

Trees have xylem and the phloem
but we our lifeblood is the poem

Claudia said...

Jams - Laughing my heart out here. My visit to your place today is far more effective than a pill for depression. Thanks!

jams o donnell said...

It's been a pleasant diversion from my leg aches and that's for sure!

Renegade Eye said...

That was incredible.

jams o donnell said...

McGonagall is wonderfully awful Ren, the comment process was a lot of fun too!

Steve Bates said...

In 1964, one of my college classmates, George Greanias, wrote a musical comedy version of the Bard's great play Hamlet. He titled it "Hello Hamlet," after "Hello Dolly," and for more than four decades, it has been performed every few years by his residential college. That's a story in itself, but I was reminded of the prologue that Greanias added to Hello Hamlet, in which he dispels rumors of comedy and warns the audience that "what you are about to see tonight [makes a face] is a real tragedy! And so it is with McGonagall's address.

jams o donnell said...

A musical Hamlet? now that must be worth seeing Steve!

Liz said...

"Your plays are read in family circles with wonder and delight,
While seated around the fireside on a cold winter's night."

Those lines reminded me of Thomas Bowdler, who sanitised Shakespeare. He is buried in a churchyard in Mumbles.

jams o donnell said...

Ah Bowdler! I didn't realise that he was buried near you Liz

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yes. Yes. Oh yes!

jams o donnell said...

Wow Snoopy I never expected MacGonagall to have that sort of reaction!

A Doubtful Egg said...

An Ode to McGonagall's Overuse of a Particular Phrase

McGonagall, your writings are very fine,
Indeed, one could describe them as ... em ...
[poet scratches head,
rummages through thesaurus,
gazes out window for inspiration]
... more fine ... er ... than something really fine ...

(I don't think I'm cut out for this poetry lark. But bravo to McGonagall (and the poets above!))

jams o donnell said...

Ah Egg a worthy addition to the fine poetry in teh comments section!

Sean Jeating said...

OH, DE, my knees are getting weak,
that's poetry at it's absolute peak!

Claudia said...

An apple a day
should keep me healthy.
A new rime a day
turns my hair to gray.

So sorry!
I can't play!

jams o donnell said...

Dear friends:

May you be forever free
with delightful poetry

A Doubtful Egg said...

A Haiku for McGonagall

Dreadful bard of the
Scots, your clumsy mulch of words
delights me strangely...

Hey, this is fun! (That's not part of the poem, by the way)

Claudia said...

D.E. - A perfect Haiku! Not in my league but it will dazzle and challenge McSeanagall. I can't wait...

Sean Jeating said...

Haiku follows soon
looking for words in the moon
und schlachte ein Huhn.

[Please don't call me a silly sod,
just needed to be a bit polyglott, to save the beauty of the ryhme
otherwise it had gone out of the Leim.]

Claudia said...

Ah! but as polyglotte,
je ne suis pas du tout sotte...

(it means I'm not dumb at all...)

jams o donnell said...

Bravo again!

Tous ces poetes, je veux tuer
Mais j'ai d'autres chats a fouetter

I don't really want to kill anyone , honest!

Claudia said...

Jams - Impayable...Priceless...You win! :)))))

Sean Jeating said...

Claudia, please!
It's still open
who wins the cheese!

jams o donnell said...

Thanks Claudia but Sean is still game so its a case of:

We write poems by the ream
until we all run out of steam

Sean Jeating said...

Where the heck,
is the Egg?
Does he already wear his gown,
listening to Funky Town?

A Doubtful Egg said...

My deepest apologies to all,
I did hear my fierce wife's call;
A dinner did I need prepare,
Which I completed with some flair,
Now lethargy overcomes all,
Here in Chez Doubt-fall.

I know it doesn't scan very well, and I'm cheating grossly with the last rhyme. I'm going offline now, but I'll check back tomorrow...

Claudia said...

Same here...

Will be back
with the pack
another day.
No more today...

Sean Jeating said...

That was well done,
brave Irishmann.
And yes, you are right
to wish without sorrow
the peace of the night.
Until tomorrow.

jams o donnell said...

I thank you all for taking time
to create such delightful rhyme
For sure more marvels are to follow
when we reconvene tomorrow

Claudia said...

Douce nuit
chers amis.
Sleep well
minstrels.

jams o donnell said...

Welterusten mijn vrienden

VLR said...

Welterusten mijne vrienden!
Moogt ge dromen van de natte grienden!
Waar gebraden smient als voedsel diende
Voor de danig doven en slechtzienden.
O gedenk toch hun naargeestig lot!
En laat hen tronen naast Uw eigen God!
Want dit is niet wat zij verdienden
Daar in die vuige vocht'ge grienden.
O mens! Gedenk Uw Lot!

Bertus

Claudia said...

Bien des gens vont penser,
"Quelle perte de temps!"
Et ils sont étonnés
par nos joyeux moments.

Mais pourquoi pas rimer
et même chantonner?
Pour une tonne de fromage
j'ai beaucoup de courage.

McIntyre, McDonagall
ne me veulent pas de mal.
Ils me poussent à gagner
le prix si convoité.

Et nous tous qui rimons
dans cette compétition
partagons l'ambition
d'agrandir notre nom.

Alors levons nos verres
en poésie clinquons.
Ceci n'est pas la guerre,
nous sommes tous compagnons.

Claude (Claudia)

Claudia said...

Sorry! Correction: 6 lines above the last one:
Partageons (not partagons)

With much apologies for the French but I had so much fun. Haven't done that in a long time. Thanks to all of you for the Riming Contest.

Sean Jeating said...

Bertus, dat is een donderslag bij heldere hemel!

The great Dutch bard's poesia
cured my oneirophobia.

jams o donnell said...

More wonderful stuff. May I thank you all for a lot of fun!

C'est La Craic said...

There once was a man from Natuckette,
Who... ah fuck it.

Wait, that rhymes!

-Claudia
Très jolie, bravo l'artiste!

Sean Jeating said...

There does live a man in Lyon,
whose rhymes I do find très bon!
On the ladder to fame
C'est La Craic is his name.

A Doubtful Egg said...

I would write a poem as Gaeilge,
except I know that it would fail-ge.
My knowledge is weak,
My poor brain does creak,
And my ignorance does make me wail-ge.

(For non-Irish speakers: the phrase 'as Gaeilge' means "in the Irish language', and is pronounced thusly:
'As' rhymes with 'toss', and Gaeilge is said "Gale Geh". Otherwise my poem will make little sense, I'm afraid...)

C'est La Craic said...

Thank you Mr. Jeating,
Though I think it might cheating,
To reclaim appraisal fleeting,
For that little rhyme of mine.

For it is no masterpiece,
No flying V of graceful geese,
Nothing more than a caprice,
Or a poem of one line.

And if you add Et il est très con ! to your own littl ditty, you have a Limerick.

This is quite fun once you get into it :)

Claudia said...

C'est la Craig, grand merci
for your few words of praise.
It is hard to appraise
French lines of poetry
When Shakespeare is the guy
that everyone will try
to copy in reply
to all who's passing by.

Claudia said...

It was great that Bertus
wrote his lines in Danish.
It gave the impetus
for me to be impish
and challenge all of you
with more than what you knew.

Yet it's still a great honour
to read you men of valour.

Sean Jeating said...

So ein Quatsch.
That is Dutch!

Claudia said...

Dutch en Français
est Hollandais.
Il parle Danois
voilà pourquoi
j'ai dit Danish
C'est pas très riche!

Claudia said...

I'm on my way
But please do stay
On my return
I'll take my turn

C'est La Craic said...

C'est tout à fait
Correct et vrai
Ce que tu dit du Hollandais,
Mais n'est-ce pas du triche
De mettre à l'affiche
Que le Danois n'est pas très riche?

jams o donnell said...

From round the world the bloggers came
Seeking neither praise nor fame
But to put their words - in French or Erse
in form of existential verse

jams o donnell said...

From Holland, Ireland and from France
From Canada in merry dance
Fromd from Albion and Deutschland too
to bring the gift of verse to you

VLR said...

@Claudia
Though Double Dutch this may be,
It's probably Danish to thee.

Bertus

Claudia said...

Pour C'est La Craic:

Qui était pauvre? C'était ma rime.
Pas le Danois; il est en prime.
Toutes ces tulipes dans son jardin;
il y en a pour les fous, les fins!

Claudia said...

I'll repeat on Jams'site, the toast I wrote on Omnium.

Without rhyme or reason
poets jump from beer to beer.
But in this new season,
this special blogging year,
it's with wine that we toast
The Poor Mouth inspired host.

Let's also toast Seanland
as green as dear Ireland.

À la votre! Slainte!

Claudia said...

To VLR -

What was Danish to me
was the Royals To-Be.
But now that I've met you
My Dutch love truly grew.

A Doubtful Egg said...

To a concert I went!
It was time well spent
But poetry I missed
so now I am dist-
ressed, and away must I go,
to my bed must I throw
myself for some slumber,
and tomorrow I'll ... emm ...

Sorry, I've run out of inspiration.
Where's the rhyming dictionary
when you need one? All the best,
folks, and thanks, Jams, for
hosting this impromptu feast of
versifying. Sleep well, y'all!

jams o donnell said...

Alas, alas my brook is babbled
with so much verse my brain is scrabbled
but you my friends please do proceed
For who knows where this chain will lead

Andrew Scott said...

I know I'm late,
but wait,
Sean Jeating sent me here,
His head all full of beer,
I'd stay and make more rhyme,
but my glass has spilled its time.
To sleep...
To dream...
Then wake from that dark deep,
I scheme.

Claudia said...

What an honour!
From far Scotland
Andrew
Man of valour
Now just did land
And joined our band
We grew...

Andrew Scott said...

And furthermore...
I live by Tayside,
tho when ah'm pissed,
it seems like Speyside.
But wher'ere we are
What'er we do,
There's a glass o' whisky
For me an' you.
Damn fine stuff it is too
Tho' if ah'm sad it maks me gang boo hoo...
And now ma rhyme's got stuck on "oo"
As it tends to do...

jams o donnell said...

Hear my roar and hear my paean
for a new Tayside tragedian!

I wish I had far more to say
but creative juices are astray

Bravo Andrew, Bravo Claudia!

Claudia said...

Where is, where is the Dean,
Inimitable Sean?
Germano-Irish-Seanguistic
In every language, prolific...

jams o donnell said...

Where oh where is Mr Jeating
His presence here is rather fleeting!

Andrew Scott said...

Sean Jeating
is in a meeting
about this post yet beating
the comment record set at my place last evening
Which is what led me here,
to check out my fear
that this post may catch up
If folk like me don't shut up

Claudia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claudia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claudia said...

Correction:

Andrew (in his own post)
Defines Pre-Seanery
And I, Post-Seanery.
The man is present
Even when absent.
He is here, there,
And everywhere.
All over those posts.

And I wanted to say,
I like it that way.

Cheers!