Edward Lear in Flight

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.

Lear 1

December 26, 1860.

Lear 2

B.H.H. remonstrates with E.L.on his determination to get out of doors on a windy day.

Lear 3

L. goes out, but finds the wind inconveniently high.

Lear 4

L. is carried off his legs into the hair [sic] all among the birds.

Lear 5

L. continues to fly straight forward.


Filed under Art, Culture, Jean Zimmerman, Poetry

2 responses to “Edward Lear in Flight

  1. Thanks! I wish I had Lear’s drawing talent, or any drawing talent whatsoever. I can write a limerick, however, if required.

  2. I love your written expression of Lear’s work. I agree, he is a great artist. I have a literary blog, so I love how writers can also double as artists. Super great post!

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