The Laureate of Nonsense

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats, with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 23rd of April 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

Edward Lear was often referred to as the Laureate of Nonsense and famous for turning his travels around the world into limerick form. He wrote poetry as an escape from his main profession as an illustrator and painter of birds and landscapes. He also spent time as Art Master to Queen Victoria, teaching her to draw and paint.

In this episode of Poetic Beats Davy D reads Lear’s poem, The Table And The Chair, which is taken from his second collection, Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets, published in 1871.

If you have difficulty listening to the show a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

To hear this recording of Poetic Beats please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.

 

 

 

The Table And The Chair

I

Said the Table to the Chair,

‘You can hardly be aware,

‘How I suffer from the heat,

‘And from chilblains on my feet!

‘If we took a little walk,

‘We might have a little talk!

‘Pray let us take the air!’

Said the Table to the Chair.

 

II

Said the Chair unto the Table,

‘Now you know we are not able!

‘How foolishly you talk,

‘When you know we cannot walk!’

Said the Table, with a sigh,

‘It can do no harm to try,

‘I’ve as many legs as you,

‘Why can’t we walk on two?’

 

III

So they both went slowly down,

And walked about the town

With a cheerful bumpy sound,

As they toddled round and round.

And everybody cried,

As they hastened to their side,

‘See! the Table and the Chair

‘Have come out to take the air!’

 

IV

But in going down an alley,

To a castle in a valley,

They completely lost their way,

And wandered all the day,

Till, to see them safely back,

They paid a Ducky-quack,

And a Beetle, and a Mouse,

Who took them to their house.

 

V

Then they whispered to each other,

‘O delightful little brother!

‘What a lovely walk we’ve taken!

‘Let us dine on Beans and Bacon!’

So the Ducky, and the leetle

Browny-Mousy and the Beetle

Dined, and danced upon their heads

Till they toddled to their beds.

 

Edward Lear

 

 

 

 

 

21 Comments

Davy, this is just wonderful, I didn’t expect to be so warmly entertained.
The poem has such warmth when I expected just “nonsense”.
Great day for the table and the chair.
You mention “The Owl and the Pussycat” ….I actually love that and know it by heart.
Better take a break from all this learning.
miriam

Liked by 1 person

    Thank you Miriam and I am glad you enjoyed the show. Edward Lear had a very interesting life and I was amazed to find his poetry was an escape from his painting and illustration profession. There is a new book about his life published recently which has gone on my Summer list. Have a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

Great return to Red Kite Davy, I must say I’m more of a Milligan’s “Oh wee Flow……………”

Liked by 1 person

Stellar show, Davy. Said the table to the chair – such a clever line. I love this piece.

Liked by 1 person

    Thank you for listening Eugenia and glad you enjoyed the show and poetry. Lear was such an interesting man and his life story is as good as his nonsense poetry. Hope your weekend is going well.

    Liked by 1 person

I loved the show. Truly wonderful nonsense! I didn’t know of Edward Lear, but I’m so glad to have met him through you. Brilliant. 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Enjoyed the show, glad to listen again. What an interesting life Lear led.

Liked by 1 person

    Thank you Lynn and I appreciate you taking time out to listen to the show and comment. There is an excellent book called Mr. Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense by Jenny Uglow which goes into great detail about his life and poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

One of my favorite poets and favorite poems!!! Lear’s nonsensical mind, art, and writing have always amused me! 🙂 Thank you for sharing him! Such a joy to hear you read some of his writings aloud! 🙂
I loved learning, recently, that Lear was, also, a musician and composer. 🙂
HUGS!!! 🙂
PS…I once had a lizard INSIDE my sofa! That’s a story I should share on my blog!

Liked by 1 person

    Thank you Carolyn and I am glad you enjoyed the show. A lizard inside your sofa? that would be interesting to read about. I hope you made it a cup of tea 🙂 I never knew about Lear being a musician and composer so thank you for adding this. Hope your weekend is going well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Delightful, Davy! I think I read this one to a couple of my kids when they were young. But I know I read “The Owl and the Pussycat” to them and have always loved it. I enjoyed the other selection you read, too. What was the name of that one? Sometimes I have trouble hearing details from the audio.

Liked by 1 person

This was fun listening to. “High quality nonsense,” I love that! Always interesting to learn more about poets. Thanks for sharing!

Liked by 1 person

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