I don't usually feature poets or poetry because frankly it is an area of expertise that I am sorely lacking in. However, nonsense poetry...now there's something I can understand.
Edward Lear, born in 1812, was an English artist, illustrator, author, and poet, renowned today primarily for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form that he popularized. In 1846 Lear published A Book of Nonsense, a volume of limericks that went through three editions and helped popularize the form. In 1865 The History of the Seven Families of the Lake Pipple-Popple was published, and in 1867 his most famous piece of nonsense, The Owl and the Pussycat, which he wrote for the children of his patron Edward Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby. Many other works followed.
Lear's nonsense books were quite popular during his lifetime, but a rumor circulated that "Edward Lear" was merely a pseudonum, and the books' true author was the man to whom Lear had dedicated his works, his patron the Earl of Derby. Supporters of this rumor offered as evidence the facts that both men were named Edward, and that "Lear" is an anagram of "Earl".
Lear's nonsense works are distinguished by word invention and word sounds, both real and imaginary. A stuffed rhinoceros becomes a "diaphanous doorscraper". A "blue Boss-Woss" plunges into "a perpendicular, spicular, orbicular, quadrangular, circular depth of soft mud".
The Owl and the Pussy-cat 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.
Venus is a pre-published author holding a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and a MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Hamline University. She is rather obsessed with good writing, science fiction, the hero's journey, epic fantasies, and Indian food.