12 May 2012 is Edward Lear’s 200th birthday, named International Owl and Pussycat Day in honour of the creator of one of the world’s most famous poems by Lear enthusiasts.
The title was dreamed up by staff at Newquay Zoo http://newquayzoo.org.uk/events – we like his animal paintings, drawn in early British zoos like London Zoo and Knowsley Hall.
Events celebrating this can be found on the Blog Of Bosh http://nonsenselit.wordpress.com/ and the Edward Lear 1812-1888 on Facebook page.
Here’s the famous poem: how will you celebrate it?
|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.
For more information on Edward Lear, visit Mraco Graziosi’s website: http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/learwk.html