I have already mentioned earlier on this forum about my love for funny poems and limericks etc. Sometime in 1991-1992,when I was posted in my bank’s Zonal Office in Chandigarh, I used to find some time to visit the famous T S Central Library located nearby in Sector-17.My search for limericks and funny poetry had continued un-abated since 1967 and onwards. Whenever I happened to come across such stuff, I used to note it down on a piece of paper and later copy it neatly in an exercise note book. I still have some note books preserved from that era.
Gradually, I fell in love with EDWARD LEAR ( Born 12th May 1812,Died 29th Jan 1888) a writer, who popularized limericks & nonsense poetry. Incidentally, his birthday is now celebrated as ” LimerickDay”.
Sometime in 1867 (133 years ago) his famous piece of nonsense titled “The Owl and The Pussy Cat” was published. It was reportedly written to regale the children of his patron. Among his other famous works were:” A Book of Nonsense” (1846) and “The History of the Seven Families of Lake Pipple-Popple” (1865)
When I read the poem “The Owl and the Pussy Cat” for the first time, I was fascinated by Lear’s simple words, musical setting and the use of certain words-both real and imaginary to carry the readers into the realm of fantasy and pure unadulterated mirth.
Even after almost 20 years since I first read it, it remains etched in my memory. I have read it umpteen number of times and every time it makes me smile and forget the problems of my daily life. Truly, the humour of Lear’s poems has proved to be irrefutably timeless.
So, my dear Readers, even if you have heard of it or read it earlier, I cannot refrain from posting the poem in its entirety from my collection. Perhaps, today’s younger generation of budding poets and poetesses may get inspired to write such funny poems to tickle the readers who like their daily peg of humour undiluted.
The Owl and the Pussycat
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,
What a beautiful Pussy you are !’
Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
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,
They danced by the light of the moon.