The Scottish TV network STV produced a preview of the historic (and completely unimportant) event that will happen on Saturday evening, March 19 at the University of Dundee: The modern debut of poems by the wretched poet William Topaz McGonagall — poems that are not published in any book and that have not been performed in public for more than 100 years, if ever. This event will be the culmination of the 2011 Ig Nobel Tour of the UK for National Science & Engineering Week.
This TV report features Norman Watson, who discovered the poems while researching his new biography of McGonagall [and note: the poems were independently also discovered by Steve Farrar, who will be at the March 11 event]. It also features several of the good citizens of Dundee, and the Tay Bridge, of whose 1879 disaster McGonagall wrote his most famous bad poem, “The Tay Bridge Disaster“. The poem begins:
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….