When one is musing on the poems on New Year or on New Year’s Resolution, one can hardly ignore the poem “A New Year’s Resolution to Leave Dundee” by William Topaz McGonagall. William Topaz McGonagall did not find much appreciation of his work during his lifetime.

In fact in his native place of stay Dundee (Scotland) he claimed to have been made to feel disrespected. Because of this the poet lyrically presented his resolution for the New Year – to leave Dundee for good. The poet himself admits of being repeatedly insulted by shouts of “There goes Mad McGonagall” whenever he hit the roads.

However as this poem got published the then prominent newspaper the “Scottish Leader” published a cheeky comment on the lament that the poet expressed by calling his New Year Resolution to be a “self imposed exile”.

William Topaz McGonagall did not make much mark on the literary critics because of poor vocabulary and absolute absence of poetic metaphor. But his poems are direct expressions of his heartfelt emotions.

Welcome! thrice welcome! to the year 1893,
For it is the year I intend to leave Dundee,
Owing to the treatment I receive,
Which does my heart sadly grieve.
Every morning when I go out
The ignorant rabble they do shout
‘There goes Mad McGonagall’
In derisive shouts as loud as they can bawl,
And lifts stones and snowballs, throws them at me;
And such actions are shameful to be heard in the city of Dundee.
And I’m ashamed, kind Christians, to confess
That from the Magistrates I can get no redress.
Therefore I have made up my mind in the year of 1893
To leave the ancient City of Dundee,
Because the citizens and me cannot agree.
The reason why? — because they disrespect me,
Which makes me feel rather discontent.
Therefore to leave them I am bent;
And I will make my arrangements without delay,
And leave Dundee some early day.

– By William Topaz McGonagall

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