Nonsensical Diction In The Owl And The Pussy-Cat?

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When reading poetry, most people prepare themselves ahead of time to dig deep into the meaning hidden behind all the words. This can make reading a poem mentally taxing. Sometimes people need to step back and have some fun. What if someone could read a poem where they could laugh and relax? Edward Lear remains one of the few poets in the Victorian era to write nonsensical poetry that satisfies this desire. In “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat,” Lear uses the structure of a light verse poem, internal rhyme, and figurative language to amuse his audience while allowing them to enjoy the many unique aspects of his poem. “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat,” a light verse poem, uses nonsensical diction, and free meter to create an enjoyable read. First, Lear uses silly language throughout his work. “To the land where the Bong-Tree grows / And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood…” (Lear 127). Words such as Bong-Tree and Piggy-wig are absent in the dictionary. Edward Lear adds these made-up words to create a lighthearted fantasy world. Unlike other poems of this time, Lear uses different meters in each of his lines…show more content…
“The Owl looked up to the stars above, / And sang to a small guitar…” (Lear 127). Throughout the poem Lear uses personification to make the animals anthropomorphic. Personification also helps add to the whimsical feel of the poem. Lear also employs hyperboles to give the poem an unrealistic feel. “They sailed away, for a year and a day…” (Lear 127). Sailing for a year is a long time, especially when all they took to eat was “some honey…” (Lear 127). Using hyperbole adds to the enjoyment, almost like a fairy-tale taking the reader to a unique universe where magical things happen. Ultimately, this fanciful universe, that Lear creates, using personification and hyperboles, brings satisfaction and amusement to the

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