Wednesday Poem: The Jumblies ~ Edward Lear

jumblies
The Jumblies

They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day,
In a Sieve they went to sea!
And when the Sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, `You’ll all be drowned!’
They called aloud, `Our Sieve ain’t big,
But we don’t care a button! we don’t care a fig!
In a Sieve we’ll go to sea!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed away in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they sailed so fast,
With only a beautiful pea-green veil
Tied with a riband by way of a sail,
To a small tobacco-pipe mast;
And every one said, who saw them go,
`O won’t they be soon upset, you know!
For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long,
And happen what may, it’s extremely wrong
In a Sieve to sail so fast!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

The water it soon came in, it did,
The water it soon came in;
So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
In a pinky paper all folded neat,
And they fastened it down with a pin.
And they passed the night in a crockery-jar,
And each of them said, `How wise we are!
Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong,
While round in our Sieve we spin!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And all night long they sailed away;
And when the sun went down,
They whistled and warbled a moony song
To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
In the shade of the mountains brown.
`O Timballo! How happy we are,
When we live in a Sieve and a crockery-jar,
And all night long in the moonlight pale,
We sail away with a pea-green sail,
In the shade of the mountains brown!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,
To a land all covered with trees,
And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart,
And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart,
And a hive of silvery Bees.
And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws,
And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
And no end of Stilton Cheese.
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And in twenty years they all came back,
In twenty years or more,
And every one said, `How tall they’ve grown!
For they’ve been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,
And the hills of the Chankly Bore!’
And they drank their health, and gave them a feast
Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
And every one said, `If we only live,
We too will go to sea in a Sieve,—
To the hills of the Chankly Bore!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

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Review: 30-Second Philosophies: The 50 most thought-provoking philosophies, each explained in half a minute ~ Barry Loewer (Editor), Julian Baggini (contributor) et al.

30 seconds30-Second Philosophies takes a revolutionary approach to getting a grip on the 50 most significant schools of philosophy. The book challenges leading thinkers to quit fretting about the meaning of meaning for a while and explain the most complex philosophical ideas-using nothing more than two pages, 300 words, and a metaphorical image. Here, in one unique volume, you have the chance to pick the potted brains of our leading philosophers and understand complex concepts such as Kant’s Categorical Imperative without ending up in a darkened room with an ice pack on your head.

4 Thumbs-UpThis book is one of a collection of 30-second books.  This doesn’t mean it takes you 30 seconds to read the entire thing, now that would be silly, it means it takes several schools of philosophy and gives a base explanation in nothing more than two pages per school.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it’s one of those books I like to have lying around to dip in and out of at will; however, on my first read through I did start at the beginning at go through to the end.

The book and its contents are simple, straightforward and easy to understand, each being given a two page spread with about 300 words, some fun facts and an illustration that may, or may not relate to what you’ve just read.  Various schools of thought are covered by dividing the book into seven chapters such as language and logic and religion to name but two, and this all ties together into a neat little package that is more a historical review than a guide to current thinking in this field.

I enjoyed this book, and other in the series, because they expand on my knowledge or actually give me ammunition when faced with a conversation on a subject I’ve not studied; and every reader needs to be well armed at the dinner party of today, all written in language that the lay-person can understand.

I would recommend this book to those readers who are looking for something educational, fun and interesting to read, and those readers looking for an introduction to philosophy.

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