James McIntyre (1827-1906) was born in Forres, Scotland and immigrated to Canada in 1841 at the age of 14. He worked as a hired hand, clearing land and collecting maple sap, and became a furniture dealer selling coffins in Ingersoll, Ontario - cheese making country.
Inspired by the wonders of Canada, here McIntyre found his inner muse and published two volumes of poetry, Musings on the Banks of the Canadian Thames, and Poems of James McIntyre. McIntyre is most infamous for his poems about cheese, and he came to be known as “The Cheese Poet.” His best-known “dairy ode” was about the four-ton cheese displayed at the Toronto Exposition of 1855.
But a cheese weighing a mere four tons was not enough for McIntyre. He saw in a holy vision a cheese weighing TEN tons, that would have the political power to unite the British Empire. It would be produced by the powerful machine invented by James Ireland at the West Oxford cheese making factory.
This Scottish emigrant to Canada also wrote awful poems about bear hunting, and an 18-foot ox exhibited at a fair. But his worst poem, exhibiting unbelieveably bad taste (and we don’t mean cheese) was about a man with a wooden leg. Perhaps it was inspired by the harsh Canadian winter. Perhaps he envied the amputee whose leg never froze. We’ll never know.
Was all this bad poetry inspired by Scotland’s William Topaz McGonagall, considered the World’s Worst Poet?