William McGonagall had a tough time after deciding poetry was his calling, being roundly insulted by critics and even pelted with rotten fruit. But the 19th-century Scotsman has been remembered long after his peers—as the worst poet ever to mangle the English language. His works commanded a price higher than a J.K Rowling first edition at an auction yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reports.
McGonagall has become a celebrated figure over the years, admired for stubbornly clinging to his art, despite a lack of any evident talent for it. "Despite his ability to massacre poetic metaphor, his taste for banality, a weak vocabulary and his tortuous rhymes, his popularity has outlived many of his then-respected contemporaries," a literary expert notes.