The nonsense poet and artist Edward Lear has always been one of my favorites. I remember when I was growing up being fascinated and mystified by The Pobble Who Has No Toes:
The Pobble who has no toes
Had once as many as we;
When they said, ‘Some day you may lose them all;’—
He replied, — ‘Fish fiddle de-dee!’
And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink,
Lavender water tinged with pink,
For she said, ‘The World in general knows
There’s nothing so good for a Pobble’s toes!’
And its zesty illustration:
Now I come across 10 rare sketches from 1860 in which Lear portrays himself getting blown about on a gusty day, from the Frederick R. Koch Collection at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in Yale University. The drawings are so charming. Here are 5 of the 10; click the link to see the whole portfolio.
December 26, 1860.
B.H.H. remonstrates with E.L.on his determination to get out of doors on a windy day.
L. goes out, but finds the wind inconveniently high.
L. is carried off his legs into the hair [sic] all among the birds.
L. continues to fly straight forward.