A Book of Nonsense and Other Poems by Edward Lear Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-07-28 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

" Really there are lots of nonsense in this book but, its so funny with lovely drawings . I like it . " said.

" Utter nonsense (that's a compliment!) and I didn't find it funny at all. " said.

" The title of this book says it all, it consists solely of complete nonsense. Nevertheless, it is fun. The poetry and illustrations are amusing and so are the songs. This book is something fun to pick up every once in a while. " said.

"Everyone's familiar with 'The Owl and the Pussycat' from their childhood and this lovely collection of Edward Lear poems will transport you right back to your younger days. This is a wonderfully nonsensical book that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

I read this book as one of my set texts for next year of uni and finished it in only a couple of days. It's really short with lovely little illustrations to accompany the text and I found it was great as a light reliever from revision stress. This is by no means a criticism but I was amazed at how many of the poems resulted in death; it was never something I'd noticed as a child. And yet, reading through his limericks there was poem after poem of people getting killed or murdered. Somehow the sing-song rhymes made their deaths just that little bit more sinister.
A lot of the poems were very familiar to me and it was nice re-reading old favourites. As a child I had a CD of Spike Milligan reading nonsense rhymes and quite a few of the poems in this collection were read out on the CD. I really enjoyed re-reading childhood favourites and would definitely recommend this book to anyone with a small child or anyone who just wants a trip down memory lane.
" said.

" Nonsense is right. Pretty weird. " said.

I'm a huge fan of literary nonsense and absurd in poetry and prose so it was obvious that I will love Edward Lear too, and especially his limericks, a form he popularised. This volume, illustrated by the author contains his most popular poems and songs.

Like this


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!'

" said.

"IF you want to escape from the world of the mundane into the humorous look no further than picking up a copy of Edward Lear’s The Book of Nonsense and Nonsense Songs.
Lear was the inventor of the Limerick. The first time I read one was probably in 1964 or 1965 when I borrowed a friend’s English textbook which contained some of Mr Lear’s limericks. I immediately fell in love with them. Several decades later I started writing my own and thoroughly enjoyed doing so.

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The book is a compilation of two of Mr Lear’s books: The Book of Nonsense followed by Nonsense Songs. The first consists solely of limericks and the second of longer nonsense verses. Each limerick has a funny illustration right above it while each nonsense poem contains several sketches, not all of which are comical. The beautiful cover of the book has been taken from the limerick There was an Old Man of Corfu.
Lear travelled widely from Calabria to Corsica and from Italy to Illyna; from Egypt to Albania and from Greece to India. Sometimes you get the feeling that he is building amusing character sketches of people he actually met or at least saw during his travels. Or maybe they are just a figment of his imagination which he has no dearth of. Some limericks might make you laugh and some others might even make you roll on the floor like the following ones:
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!”

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There was an Old Person of Rheims
Who was troubled with horrible dreams;
So to keep him awake,
They fed him on cake,
Which amused that old person of Rheims.

There was an old Person of Sparta,
Who had twenty-five sons and one “darter”;
He fed them on snails,
And weighed them in scales,
That wonderful person of Sparta.

We all know that ‘darter’ alludes to daughter. However, Mr Lear is not only coining darter to make it rhyme with Sparta but is also doing so to make the limerick more lighthearted. Or maybe he visited a certain place where the people pronounced daughter as darter. In the same way in another limerick he alludes to serpent as “sarpint.” The innovative word certainly tickles your bones.
Here is another one which I found to be extremely jocular:
There was an Old Lady of Chertsey,
Who made a remarkable curtsey;
She twirled round and round
Till she sank underground,
Which distressed all the people of Chertsey.

The British writer’s coinage of words and the stretching of his imagination will truly dazzle you. Spontaneous becomes sponge-taneous and “What is the matter” becomes “What matter?” In one of his limericks, he writes about a “cream-coloured ass” and you actually wish you could see one and maybe ride on it too.

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A sketch of Edward Lear during his youth.

During his life he suffered from depression and epilepsy, which is why you often get the feeling that his highly inventive verse had a melancholic undertone. The following are three examples of this:
There was an Old Man of the Cape
Who possessed a large Barbary Ape,
Till the ape one dark night
Set the house all alight,
Which burned that Old Man of the Cape.

There was a Young Lady of Clare,
Who was sadly pursued by a bear;
When she found she was tired,
She abruptly expired,
That unfortunate Lady of Clare.

There was an Old Person of Ems,
Who casually fell in the Thames;
And when he was found
They said he was drowned,
That unlucky Old Person of Ems.

You don’t laugh at a house set on fire or at the death of an Old Man who gets scorched. Neither do you make fun of a Young Lady who dies as a result of heart failure on being chased by a grizzly bear nor at the accidental death of an Old Person who dies as a consequence of drowning.
While writing about the attributes of Mr. Lear, John Ruskin said, “I really don’t know any author to whom I am half so grateful for my idle self as Edward Lear. I shall put him first of my hundred authors.”

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Mr. Lear abundantly uses adjectives, especially in the last line of each limerick, to emphasize the reaction on the protagonist of the poem. He keeps inventing nonsense words like runcible, ombliferous, etc. The first word appears, as an adjective, several times in his works, most famously as the “runcible spoon” used by the Owl and the Pussycat.
Nonsense Songs starts with The Owl and the Pussy-cat. It talks about the romance – I repeat romance– between an Owl and a Pussycat, entirely in verse. It is followed by poems like The Duck and the Kangaroo, The Daddy Long-Legs and The Fly and The Jumblies. Each has a story to tell and is thoroughly amusing in its own right.
The London-born writer uses alliteration and imagery throughout the book which makes it even more enjoyable.
A limerick is one of the few forms of poetry that entertains both children and adults. If you have not read any of Mr Lear’s books, then you should start off with this one right away.
" said.

" Really there are lots of nonsense in this book but, its so funny with lovely drawings . I like it . " said.

August 2019 New Book:

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