Saturday, May 4, 2013

Edward Lear, born May, 1812

Edward Lear
W. Holman Hunt
Walker Art Gallery
At the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, after a month of a poem-a-day, we are relaxing a bit and letting our minds drift toward the style of Edward Lear, born more than 200 years ago, whose nonsense still makes us laugh.

Of course, you know I am staid and stuffy and oh-so-serious, and simply can't imagine nonsense, never mind write it, but for the sake of the other Real Toads, I will give it my best shot.

Almost everyone knows Edward Lear's most famous poem, The Owl and the Pussycat, which has been a favourite of mine since early childhood. But how many know he was an artist and an illustrator as well? It's as if someone existed, two hundred years ago, who was an amalgam of my dad, my brothers, and me. Mom, Dad, Clint and I always enjoyed this kind of do-it-yourself entertainment when Clint and I were young.

My favourite lines from that poem are:

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.

My Edward Lear(ish) poem contains, however, no honey, nor even no money (wrapped up in a five-pound note), and is not based at all on The Owl and the Pussycat.
an old lady tried for a beard
after reading a book by Ed Lear
she said, “I have heared
that if I have a  beard,
with wildlife my beard will be smeared.”

she started with hair she adhered
with glue to her face as she peered
into a mir-
ror quite near
for her eyesight wasn't too clear

said hair she had just commandeered
from the side of her head, near her ear
and hoped, it appeared
that a newly-grown beard
to the false one would simply cohere

but the new beard, it didn’t appear,
although the old girl persevered
for nearly a year
as her family jeered
From the painting
"The bearded woman"
by Jusepe de Ribera.
Prado Museum,
Madrid, Spain.
Public domain.
that it wasn't bioengineered.

Lear's much shorter version of this ditty can be found on the Real Toads page.


Kay said...

Your creativity continues to astound, Kay. That painting... well... I promise I've never seen anything like it before.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love that you took inspiration from Lear's famous beard and told a fabulous tale.

manicddaily said...

Super super clever, Kay. Much enjoyed. k.

Peggy said...

Fun to read Kay! I gave the Lear style a try as well just for the heck of it. Thanks for the inspiration.

hedgewitch said...

I am laughing my socks off here, Kay. Some of those rhymes were just genius, especially commandeered and bioengineered. It's plain that Lear has a special place in your heart, but hopefully not too often in your mind, as it makes going out in public difficult when you think these things out loud. ;_). said...

Kay, I, too, enjoyed the take on that hilarious picture of all the things nesting in the man's beard. And oh, it's so refreshing to see you writing something silly, as your constant dirges and attempts to replicate the Rime of the Ancient Mariner (only with water aerobics) have grown quite tedious.

hahahahahahaaha Loved it, Amy

VaNdAnA ShArMa said...

Very well inspired and very nicely brought up.A Cute read!!!

Maggie Grace said...

Apparently you've tried this before. lol. Loved the details in the writing of trying to connect the hair at her ears with the fake hair!

Susie Clevenger said...

This was fun. Love how you took Lear's beard and wrote it as a woman seeking one.

Margaret said...

Wow... this is right up your alley! Loved the silliness and ingenious word rhyming. The painting... I thought you photoshopped it! I googled it and well, it is real. Poor woman.

Kay L. Davies said...

It's a good thing I never learned Photoshop, Margaret, or I'd be having entirely too much fun.
No, when you looked it up, Google got it right: this is really a section of a painting from the Prado. I didn't see this painting when we were there, because I certainly would have remembered.