Writers: Take Heart!


I'd forgotten all about writer Amanda McKittrick Ros, then came across this gem while I should have been doing something a little productive, i.e., anything, really:


On Visiting Westminster Abbey

by Amanda McKittrick Ros


Holy Moses! Have a look!

Flesh decayed in every nook!

Some rare bits of brain lie here,

Mortal loads of beef and beer,

Some of whom are turned to dust,

Every one bids lost to lust;

Royal flesh so tinged with 'blue'

Undergoes the same as you. …

Famous some were–yet they died;

Poets–Statesmen–Rogues beside,

Kings–Queens, all of them do rot,

What about them? Now–they're not! "


Amanda McKittrick Ros (1860 – 1939), born Anna Margaret Ross, was an Irish writer who wrote both poetry and novels. She holds the dubious distinction of being called by critics "one of the world's worst poets," due to her flamboyant, flowery prose, overuse of alliteration, and convoluted phrasing. Still, Amanda has many admirers who find her work to be boldly original and tremendously entertaining. In either case, her books are now handsomely priced collector's items."



Hideous or fun and jaunty? You must sample her prose:

"Speak! Irene! Wife! Woman! Do not sit in silence and allow the blood that now boils in my veins to ooze through cavities of unrestrained passion and trickle down to drench me with its crimson hue!"


Erm. Right, then. Just so  you know, writers C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and I believe a couple other esteemed gentlemen are said to have participated in challenges in which they'd read one of her books aloud, until one of them started laughing uncontrollably, that person losing the contest.

I would love to have been there… Born too late! Oh! Woe! Inseminated into my mother's womb, squeezed through her maternal orifice but too soon! Too soon!

Next time you're frustrated with the progress of your writing have a look at Ms. Ros's. Could it really be as bad as this? Hint: If the answer's yes, you may as well go ahead and self publish, like everyone else.


P.S.: You may be able to get etexts of her works for free, through either Amazon or Project Gutenberg.


2 thoughts on “Writers: Take Heart!

  1. Ha ha – she’d give William McGonagall a run for his money! Will certainly check out Project Gutenberg for her works – would be fun to have one on my phone for anytime I needed cheering up.
    I’m a new follower of your blog – found through the Salem Press competition list. Loving the mix so far!


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