Poet William Topaz McGonagall


Short Biography


William Topaz McGonagall was born of rather poor Irish parents in Edinburgh, Scotland, in March 1825. In his nearly unreadable, rambling biographical notes1, one eventually learns that he sprang from a family of five children and that he worked with his father as a handloom weaver. His education appears to have been patchy, but, in his own words, 'William has been like the immortal Shakespeare he had learned more from nature than he ever learned at school'. The family settled in Dundee while William was still a boy, and he lived there for the rest of his life. He died in...

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Poem of the Day

Petropolis

Osip Emilevich Mandelstam

From a fearful height, a wandering light,
but does a star glitter like this, crying?
Transparent star, wandering light
your brother, Petropolis, is dying.

From a fearful height, earthly dreams are alight,
and...

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Poet of the Day

Yehudah HaLevi

Yehudah ha-Levi is one of the best-known Spanish Jewish poets. Born in Toledo when it was still under Islamic rule, he became a prolific writer of both Arabic and Hebrew poetry. His writing touches on themes such as love, friendship...

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