Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Edward Lear!

Edward Lear's birthday was yesterday, but Blogger ate my post. Seriously! Blogger had digestive problems all day yesterday, causing much heartburn in the blogosphere. I am reposting because (1) I took the time to write it and (2) I don't have anything for today. :)

Happy Birthday to Edward Lear

Edward Lear (1812 - 1888) was an English artist, illustrator, author, and poet. He was famous for his nonsensical poems, especially limericks. If, as a child, you read a book of children’s poems, I can almost guarantee you that Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat was included.

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.
They danced by the light of the moon.

A Limerick
There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said ‘It is just as I feared! -
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!’

How Pleasant To Know Mr. Lear

He reads but he cannot speak Spanish.
He cannot abide ginger-beer.
Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish.
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!

Yes, how pleasant to know Mr. Lear. Happy 199th birthday!

*Runcible – a word coined by Mr. Lear. It means a spoon with three short tines, aka, a spork.

A note about Blogger: Posting on Blogger can be a challenge, especially if you have lots of pictures. It puts extra spaces between paragraphs--or deletes them. It takes a picture that you want at the top of your post, and puts it at the bottom. This bothers me, but I shall tell you from personal experience that Blogger wins more times than it loses.


  1. Thank you for introducing me to Edward Lear! I Googled him and found some very interesting and fun things.

    Happy birthday Mr Lear, indeed!

  2. Isn't he fun, Lorena. But now I have the Owl and the Pussycat running through my head!

  3. There was a young lady called Mary
    Who published her stories some scary
    She loved to write books
    With her fine Irish looks
    That Austenesque author called Mary

    Ta Da!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Just a thought Mary, I like Lear too but as far as nonsense verse goes Lewis Carol was pretty good and there was a recent writer of nonsense poetry who was excellent too, I'm sure you will know him as you are an Anglophile and probable fan of the Goons, Spike Milligan.
    here is one of his:

    I must go down to the sea again,
    to the lonely sea and the sky;
    I left my shoes and socks there -
    I wonder if they're dry?

  5. Mary i don't know what happened, but BLOGGER was in a mess yesterday. You have lost the original version of this.

    I'll try and remember what I wrote:

    There was a great writer called Mary
    Who's stories are sometimes most scary
    She likes Mr Darcy
    All stuck up and arsy
    That Austenesque scriber called Mary

    Well it's not exactly how i wrote it yesterday but something like that.

    You must have heard of Spike Milligan? Being an Anglophile you will know, The Goons.

    Here's a Spike poem:

    Said Hamlet to Ophelia
    I'll draw a sketch of thee
    What kind of pencil shall I use?
    2B or not 2B

  6. Tony, I have my own limerick! Fantastic. I like Spike's as well, but it's not as good as yours.

    Blogger was a disaster yesterday causing great distress across the globe. :)