While writing up the wiki excerpt for william-mcgonagall a couple of weeks back, I came upon a rather surprising remark about him in Wikipedia:
He won notoriety as an extremely bad poet who exhibited no recognition of, or concern for, his peers' opinions of his work.
The next line down, it says the following:
He wrote about 200 poems, including "The Tay Bridge Disaster" and "The Famous Tay Whale", which are widely regarded as some of the worst in English literature.
Wikipedia goes to further claim that critics "argue that his inappropriate rhythms, weak vocabulary, and ill-advised imagery combine to make his work amongst the most unintentionally amusing dramatic poetry in the English language."
Is this accurate? What makes his poems so terrible? Is this a fair and objective evaluation of his works?
(Note: I am not asking for someone's opinion on his works. I am asking for the scholarly citations and evaluations of why scholars consider him to be so bad. Specific examples of meter (or rather, lack thereof) and/or analysis of his works would also be appropriate).