No doubt most Jottists will have their own candidates, some of whom might be a few contemporary ‘poets ‘who have paid to have their own work published by ‘ vanity presses ‘.However, here are some of the lesser known versifiers out of the ten chosen by publisher Nicholas Parsons in his Book of Literary Lists. The divine Amanda McKittrick Ros, arguably the worst poet of all, has been dealt with in an earlier Jot, as has Patience Strong.
Julia A. Moore (1847 – 1920).
Not the best-known of bad poets, but a sure candidate nonetheless. Moore was, according to Parsons, ‘ by general consent the worst American poetess and perhaps the worst in English.’ Mark Twain satirised her in Huckleberry Finn as ‘ Emmeline Grangerford. Twain declared that her debut volume , The Sweet Singer of Michigan Salutes the Public gave him joy for twenty years. One of these little gems was entitled ‘ Byron: A Critical Survey’.
‘Lord Byron;’ was an Englishman
A poet I believe
His first works in old England
Was poorly received.
Perhaps it was ‘Lord Byron’s ‘fault
And perhaps it was not.
Moore seemed to specialise in gruesome deaths. Referring to her debut, one critic, Bill Nye, ‘counted twenty-one killed and nine wounded in the small volume she has given to the public’.
Here is one of them:
While eating dinner this dear little child
Was choked on a piece of beef
Doctors came, tried their skill awhile
But none could give relief…
Her friends and schoolmates will not forget
Little Libbie that is no more;
She is waiting on the shining step
To welcome home friends once more. Continue reading