The Table And The Chair

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.

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The Table And The Chair


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.



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?’



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!’



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.



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