Wednesday, October 6, 1999 Published at 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
McGonagall: Gone but unforgettable
The William McGonagall plaque marks the poet's pauper's grave
The work of the man described as one of the world's worst poets has been recognised with the unveiling of a plaque at his burial place in Edinburgh.
It was attended by the Lord Provosts of Dundee and Edinburgh, the chairman of the City of Discovery Campaign Mervyn Rolfe, McGonagall's great great grandson William and his great great great granddaughter Mary Ross.
Although born in Edinburgh, McGonagall moved with his family to Dundee where he began writing.
His favourite subject matter was the Tay Bridge. He waxed lyricly about its structure and penned a 60-line verse to mark its disastrous collapse during atrocious weather conditions in 1879.
One of his Tay Bridge poems reads:
Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay!
Despite his own thoughts on his work, most people recognised him to be without talent. He was known, even among those who studied his work, as Dundee's "Mr Nobody".
Mr McGonagall was booked as the nightly turn in small Dundee halls just so his audiences could take the Mickey out of him.
The teetotaller_s drinks were spiked with alcohol and he became known for making long pointless treks in Scotland and further afield including London and New York.
All his life he was the butt of cruel jokes, but his faith in himself could not be shaken.
Mr McGonagall's remains were placed in a paupers' grave almost 100 years ago, but his memory lives on.
All his poems have been published and he earned himself a place on library shelves because his unusual appeal to authors and essayists.