Friday, February 15, 2008

Poetry Friday: The Owl and the Pussycat

The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

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,
You are,
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,
His nose,
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,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Part of the reason I like this nonsense rhyme is the last stanza; I find it haunting.

And it reminds me of a book I read in high school, The Moondancers by WJ Weatherby.

I cannot find a description online and my copy is packed, but it was one of those historical romance books where the following happened: girl in the UK abandoned by loving father, she grew up and was hanged for something, but the hangman loved her so fixed it so she wouldn't die (in which I learn that the weight and height of the body is important in figuring the length of rope to have a proper hanging), and then they both escape to the US and get separated. I think she thinks he's a little stalkerish, plus the whole hangman thing isn't appealing. Of course, they meet various historical people in 19th century England and America and then she finds her father and it turns out he is now an evil western land baron, and believe it or not she ends up getting hanged AGAIN and saved again by The Original Hangman. They do wind up together after all. Despite the stalkerish/killing her/not killing her thing.

Man, I loved that book. I have to find that box....

Round up at HipWriterMama.


tanita✿davis said...

I love that poem because ...well, runcible spoons. Sporkives!

And the description of The Moondancers had me laughing out loud. After all the complete nonsense, the flat phrase, "Man, I loved that book." It's always so funny to me how the most mawkish, scary-dysfunctional sounding relationships make great reading in the romance category!!!

Anonymous said...

I love "The Owl and the Pussycat"! We have the beautiful picture book that Jan Brett illustrated. She uses bright Caribbean colors and motifs.

Anonymous said...

I always hear Jimmy Stewart and the female lead from It's A Wonderful Life singing "and danced by the light of the moon", which I believe was used at the end of "thirtysomething" with the production company logo.