Saturday, June 13, 2009

Edward Lear "The Owl and the Pussycat"

"The Owl and the Pussycat" is a famous nonsense poem by Edward Lear, first published in 1871. Its most notable historical feature is the coinage of the term runcible spoon. It features four anthropomorphised animals (the owl, the pussycat, the 'piggy-wig' and a turkey) and revolves around the love between the title characters, who are married by the turkey in the third and final stanza. The title characters famously go to sea in "a beautiful pea-green boat". The phrase "pea-green" occurs several times in Lear's writings including his surviving diaries.

Edward Lear, British poet and painter known for his absurd wit, was born in 1812 and began his career as an artist at age 15. His father, a stockbroker of Danish origins, was sent to debtor's prison when Lear was thirteen and the young Lear was forced to earn a living. Lear quickly gained recognition for his work and in 1832 was hired by the London Zoological Society to execute illustrations of birds. In the same year, the Earl of Denby invited Lear to reside at his estate; Lear ended up staying on until 1836. His first book of poems, A Book of Nonsense (1846) was composed for the grandchildren of the Denby household. Around 1836 Lear decided to devote himself exclusively to landscape painting (although he continued to compose light verse). Between 1837 and 1847 Lear traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia. After his return to England, Lear's travel journals were published in several volumes as The Illustrated Travels of a Landscape Painter. Popular and respected in his day, Lear's travel books have largely been ignored in the twentieth century. Rather, Lear is best remembered for his humorous poems, such as "The Owl and the Pussycat," and as the creator of the form and meter of the modern limerick. Like his younger peer Lewis Carroll, Lear wrote many deeply fantastical poems about imaginary creatures, such as "The Dong with the Luminous Nose." His books of humorous verse also include Nonsense Songs (1871) and Laughable Lyrics (1877). Lear an epileptic from the age of 7 died in 1888 at the age of 76.He kept his epilepsy, so secret that hardly anyone knew about it until after his death. He once said " It is wonderful that these fits have never been discovered".

Although the subject and form of his works varies greatly, all of Lear's poems can be characterized by his irreverent view of the world; Lear poked fun at everything, including himself in "By Way of a Preface." Many critics view Lear's devotion to the ridiculous as a method for dealing with or undermining the all-pervasive orderliness and industriousness of Victorian society. Regardless of impetus, the humor of Lear's poems has proved irrefutably timeless. Lear is mostly remembered not for his considerable talent as an artist but for his Nonsense Rhymes. He is credited with inventing the Limerick, which he wrote to amuse the children of his wealthy clients. As well as the Limericks he wrote other nonsense rhymes such as " The Owl and The Pussycat" and " The Jumblies" .

Lewis Carroll "Father William"

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland First published in 1865. Father William" which is a parody of Robert Southey's poem, "The Old Mans Comforts and How He Gained Them".

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 14 January 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer.

His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass as well as the poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky", all considered to be within the genre of literary nonsense.

Lewis Carroll was born in 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire, he spent his early life in the north of England (at Daresbury, Cheshire and in Croft, Yorkshire). He spent his adult life in Oxford and died at Guildford in 1898. Besides the Alice books, he wrote many others including poems, pamphlets and articles. He was a skilled mathematician, logician and pioneering photographer and he invented a wealth of games and puzzles which are of great interest today. Through his range of talents he has acquired great respect and has a large following.

Kind Regards

Jim Clark
All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2009

You are old, Father William, the young man said,
And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head
Do you think, at your age, it is right?

In my youth, Father William replied to his son,
I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.

You are old, said the youth, as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door
Pray, what is the reason of that?

In my youth, said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment one shilling the box
Allow me to sell you a couple?

You are old, said the youth, and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak
Pray how did you manage to do it?

In my youth, said his father, I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.

You are old, said the youth, one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose
What made you so awfully clever?

I have answered three questions, and that is enough,
Said his father; don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe "The Raven"

"The Raven" is a narrative poem by the American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in January 1845. It is noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven's mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the latter's slow descent into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student,[1][2] is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. The raven, sitting on a bust of Pallas, seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word, "Nevermore." Throughout the poem, Poe makes allusions to folklore and various classical works.

Poe claimed to have written the poem very logically and methodically. His intention was to create a poem that would appeal to both critical and popular tastes, as he explains in the follow-up essay: "The Philosophy of Composition". The poem was inspired in part by a talking raven in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty by Charles Dickens.[3] Poe borrows the complex rhythm and meter of Elizabeth Barrett's poem "Lady Geraldine's Courtship".

The first publication of "The Raven" on January 29, 1845, in the New York Evening Mirror made Poe widely popular in his lifetime. The poem was soon reprinted, parodied, and illustrated. Though some critics disagree about the value of the poem, it remains one of the most famous poems ever written"

Rudyard Kipling "Danny Deever "

"Danny Deever" is an 1890 poem by Rudyard Kipling, one of the first of the Barrack-Room Ballads. It received wide critical and popular acclaim, and is often regarded as one of the most significant pieces of Kipling's early verse. The poem, a ballad, describes the execution of a British soldier in India for murder. His execution is viewed by his regiment, paraded to watch it, and the poem is composed of the comments they exchange as they see him hanged. It is immediately noticeable that the poem is written in a vernacular English. Though the Barrack-Room Ballads have made this appear a common feature of Kipling's work, at the time it was quite unusual; this was the first of his published works to be written in the voice of the common soldier. The speech is not a direct representation of any single dialect, but it serves to give a very clear effect of a working class English voice of the period

Joseph Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 18 January 1936) was an English author and poet. Born in Bombay, British India (now Mumbai), he is best known for his works The Jungle Book (1894) and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1902), his novel, Kim (1901); his poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), If— (1910); and his many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story";[2] his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works speak to a versatile and luminous narrative gift.[3][4] Kipling was one of the most popular writers in English, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Kind Regards

Jim Clark
All rights are rsserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2008

Danny Deever.................................

What are the bugles blowin for?' said Files-on-Parade.
To turn you out, to turn you out, the Colour-Sergeant said.
What makes you look so white, so white? said Files-on-Parade.
Im dreadin what Ive got to watch, the Colour-Sergeant said. For theyre hangin Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play, The Regiments in ollow square—theyre hangin him to-day; Theyve taken of his buttons off an cut his stripes away, An they're hangin Danny Deever in the mornin.

What makes the rear-rank breathe so ard? said Files-on-Parade.
Its bitter cold, it's bitter cold, the Colour-Sergeant said.
What makes that front-rank man fall down? said Files-on-Parade.
A touch o sun, a touch o sun, the Colour-Sergeant said. They are hangin Danny Deever, they are marchin of im round, They ave alted Danny Deever by is coffin on the ground; An ell swing in arf a minute for a sneakin shootin hound— O theyre hangin Danny Deever in the mornin!

Is cot was right-and cot to mine, said Files-on-Parade.
Es sleepin out an far to-night, the Colour-Sergeant said.
Ive drunk is beer a score o times, said Files-on-Parade.
Es drinkin bitter beer alone, the Colour-Sergeant said. They are hangin Danny Deever, you must mark im to is place, For e shot a comrade sleepin—you must look im in the face; Nine undred of is county an the Regiments disgrace, While theyre hangin Danny Deever in the mornin.

Whats that so black agin the sun? said Files-on-Parade.
Its Danny fightin ard for life, the Colour-Sergeant said.
Whats that that whimpers overead? said Files-on-Parade.
Its Dannys soul thats passin now, the Colour-Sergeant said. For theyre done with Danny Deever, you can ear the quickstep play, The Regiments in column, an theyre marchin us away; Ho! the young recruits are shakin, an theyll want their beer to-day, After hangin Danny Deever in the mornin!