Happy Limerick Day, Mothers: Open Poetry Post

drawing of Edward Lear by Wilhelm Marstrand
Edward Lear by Wilhelm Marstrand

Today is the birthday anniversary of Edward Lear, born on May 12th, 1812, the second-last of a family of 21 children and a multi-passionate creative and creativist.

This author, artist and musician is best known for his nonsense verse, especially the limerick. And so his birthday has also become known as Limerick Day.

As today is also Mothers Day in USA, I thought I'd write a little limerick about motherhood, in his honor.

Limericks and Other Literary Nonsense

Though he didn't create the playful poetic form, Lear played a significant role in spreading the limerick, in his many children's tales and especially in his most celebrated collection, A Book of Nonsense, which sent the literary nonsense genre viral.

Two years later he penned Nonsense Songs, for the children of his patron, Edward Stanley, the 13th Earl of Derby, which contained what has become his most famous poem, The Owl and the Pussycat.

He often introduced himself as: “Mr Abebika kratoponoko Prizzikalo Kattefello Ablegorabalus Ableborinto phashyph”, which he based on R Sennett's then famous game, Aldiborontiphoskyphorniostikos.

An alternative pseudonym was: “Chakonoton the Cozovex Dossi Fossi Sini Tomentilla Coronilla Polentilla Battledore & Shuttlecock Derry down Derry Dumps”

But, like many funnymen, he suffered from what was then called melancholia (depression) which he referred to as “the morbids”. And he also had epilepsy, a condition stigmatised in his time. He transmuted guilt and shame about his epileptic grand mal seizures into art, drawings, music composition, poems.

Notable for its creative use of language and appreciation for the auditory qualities of words, both real and invented, Lear's literary work is still great fun today.

A Limerick About Motherhood

As it's also Mothers Day in USA, I thought I'd combine the two and write this little limerick about motherhood, for all the creativists out there who might feel like you haven't got the support you want from your mama.

And for poor mama herself.

A young girl with a dream and a goal,
mad her poor mother would splutter and groan.
"Stop this cry for attention.
Get a job. A good pension."
Today she claims her girl's fame as her own.

Whether you're creating a family or a fortune, be a warrior, not a worrier. Keep creating.

Happy Mother's Day!

featured image: *Masada on the Dead Sea* by Edward Lear

Orna Ross


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