Reverting to nonsense

The world isn’t making sense, so I’m turning to Edward Lear.

old-man-of-whitehaven.gif

In George Orwell’s essay on nonsense poetry, he writes:

Aldous Huxley, in praising Lear’s fantasies as a sort of assertion of freedom, has pointed out that the “They” of the limericks represent common sense, legality and the duller virtues generally. “They” are the realists, the practical men, the sober citizens in bowler hats who are always anxious to stop you doing anything worth doing. For instance:

There was an Old Man of Whitehaven,
Who danced a quadrille with a raven;
But they said, “It’s absurd
To encourage this bird!”
So they smashed that Old Man of Whitehaven.

To smash somebody just for dancing a quadrille with a raven is exactly the kind of thing that “They” would do.

There-Was-An-Old-Man-With-A-Flute.jpg

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