Edward Lear

While people can argue: who wrote the best love poems?  Who wrote the best haikus?  No one can argue with the fact that Edward Lear wrote the best limericks.  Limericks are a type of nonsense poem which where created in the early 18th century.  These are often humorous and have a strict AABBA structure.  An example of a limerick is this:

There was an old man of Tobago,
Who lived on rice, gruel and sago
Till, much to his bliss,
His physician said this –
To a leg, sir, of mutton you may go.

 As you can see, Lear uses witty and well formed lines to form a poem which, reading for the umpteenth time, still makes me smile.

Lear uses the specific structure to give a very short insight into people around the world’s life.  He does this by focusing on a specific aspect of that person’s life.  For example, he doesn’t go into detail about this person’s hair, or their family life, but he makes a short, quick summary of just one thing which makes up his subjects life.  This makes his poem very enjoyable to a reader who wants a laugh, rather than a serious matter which could possibly bore the reader.

As well as that, Lear uses different people’s nationalities to make every one of his limericks different, yet follow a very set structure.  He begins by writing of a person from a certain country.  He then proceeds to write about a problem that they face; usually something funny and trivial.  In his following two lines, he writes of a specific and surprising occurrence which solves his problems.  Finally, In Lear’s last line, he gives a very quick summary of the poem, or perhaps solves the problem in this line.  This is a really good thing as it inspires people to write their own limericks without thinking it is too hard.  Here is one I made up about my 3 year old cousin.

There once was a big* girl called Poppy,

Of whom there could be no copy,

When she was eating,

She needed high seating,

And when she was tired she went floppy.

Overall, I think Edward Lear is an incredible man who has done incredible things for English poetry.  So go on, write your own!

*As you may know, all toddlers insist on being big boys or big girls.


Matteo Fernandes

About matteomsf

I love listening to music and wathcing films.

One response »

  1. Use the cash from your old games you have traded in to afford
    brand new ones. If you want to be a parent who is active and knowledgeable about your kid’s video game time, put in some hours playing their games on your own. You must consider everything from your own needs and preferences to the advanced features and capabilities of each system.

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