@TheEastAfrican

The art of very bad verse and worse… - 3 months ago, 19 Oct 17:09

By: Frank Whalley

When the Prince of Wales, son and heir of Queen Victoria, lay desperately ill, it fell to the then English Poet Laureate Alfred Austin to record the event.

He did not fail us:

Across the wires the electric message came:
He is no better: He is much the same.

Thankfully the prince survived both illness and poetry to become the dissolute and entertaining King Edward VII.

When asked to rally the public with a poem about the Boer War, once again Austin did not disappoint:

They rode across the veldt
As fast as they could pelt…

Just a dozen years after Austin had penned his immortal couplets, music lovers across the Atlantic were by turns astonished, horrified and finally amused by the hilariously bad singing of Florence Foster Jenkins.

An immensely wealthy socialite and amateur soprano, from 1912 to the 1940s she hired some of America’s most prestigious opera houses to perform her tone-deaf renderings of famous arias.

What both ...
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