William McGonagall was mocked by literary critics and had food thrown at him during public readings, before dying penniless in an unmarked grave in Edinburgh in 1902.
But his very notoriety means his work has become surprisingly popular, and the collection of 35 poems on sale was estimated to make up to 6,500 pounds.
"McGonagall is obviously not the best poet, but he is actually very popular these days," said Alex Dove, a specialist at Lyon and Turnbull auction house in the Scottish capital which was selling the poems.
The works, many of them signed, deal with topics ranging from women's suffrage and the burning of a theatre in Aberdeen.
If the collection goes for its estimated price it would be in the same league as first edition copies of Harry Potter books signed by author J. K. Rowling, according to The Daily Telegraph newspaper.
The poet -- full name William Topaz McGonagall -- was nicknamed the "The Tayside Tragedian" in his home city of Dundee, where laughing locals would throw fruit and vegetables at him.
Critics have awarded him the "world's worst" label because of the crashing lack of subtlety in terms of rhyme, imagery, vocabulary or repetition.
His most famous poem is about the Tay Bridge disaster of 1879, in which 75 people died:
"So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
"Until it was about midway,
"Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
"And down went the train and passengers into the Tay."
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