It's Amanda McKittrick Ros Day!

Today, dear readers, is the day we honor Amanda McKittrick Ros, the Irish novelist and poet that some have called "the worst writer ever". That seems a little harsh (have they read Catherine Coulter? What about Newt Gingrich's novel? Valley of the Dolls?) but there's no denying that Mrs. Ros was a unique talent. She was fond of using large, flowery, alliterative adjectives--so many large, flowery, alliterative adjectives, in fact, that her meaning was frequently totally obscured. Behold the first sentence of her greatest work, Delina Delany:

Have you ever visited that portion of Erin's plot that offers its sympathetic soil for the minute survey and scrutinous examination of those in political power, whose decision has wisely been the means before now of converting the stern and prejudiced, and reaching the hand of slight aid to share its strength in augmenting its agricultural richness?

I don't think that Strunk and White would have approved. But her stuff just gets better! Her poetry is equally immortal--here's the first verse of "Visiting Westminster Abbey":

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.

The glory of that first line leaves me speechless. Sadly, all of Mrs. Ros's books are now out of print, but if you'd like to learn more about her (and I'm sure you do!), be sure to visit The Oasis of Futurity, Alfred Armstrong's tribute to the author's life and works.

[Note: the image above is of Irene Iddesleigh, the eponymous heroine of one of Mrs. Ros's novels, taken from Mr. Armstrong's site. I've never read Irene Iddesleigh, but I get the sense that this is the heroine's pose throughout most of the book--her flowerlike face buried in her delicate hands, her elegant shoulders trembling with her sobs. Doesn't it look like fun?]
Posted by: Julianka


08 Dec, 2006 07:57 PM @ version 0

I'm going to walk around quoting the first two lines of that poem ALL DAY.

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