Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Owl and the Pussycat, a poem by Edward Lear.

Post 603 - Edward Lear (1812 - 1888) was a British poet and painter known for his absurd wit. His father, a stockbroker, was sent to debtor's prison when he was thirteen and the young Lear was forced to earn a living. He quickly gained recognition for his work and in 1832 was hired by the London Zoological Society to execute illustrations of birds. His first book of poems, A Book of Nonsense, (1846) was composed for the grandchildren of his patron, the Earl of Denby. Around 1836 Lear decided to devote himself exclusively to landscape painting (although he continued to compose light verse). Between 1837 and 1847 Lear traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia. After his return to England, his travel journals were published in several volumes as The Illustrated Travels of a Landscape Painter. Lear's travel books were popular and respected in their day, but are largely forgotten today. Instead, he's remembered as the creator of the modern limerick, and for his many humorous poems. This is one of my own favorites:

The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear.

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are."
Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?"
Said the Piggy, "I will"
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

By the way, a runcible spoon is a small fork with three prongs, one having a sharp edge, that is curved like a spoon. This spoon is used to eat pickles, etc., and presumably sliced quince as well.

How pleasant to know Mr Lear!
Who has written such volumes of stuff!
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few think him pleasant enough.

1 comment:

Marvyn said...

im adapting this poem into a short film at the moment, please check out the facebook page and give it a like :D https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Owl-and-the-Pussycat/272659356125377