Online Poetry Anthology

“The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear

Nonsense Song by Edward Lear (1871) | Edward Lear (1812–1888)

"The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear

I.
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear

II.
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married; too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

III.
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

 

Nonsense Song by Edward Lear (1871) | Edward Lear (1812–1888)


Online Poetry Anthology

 

Suggestions
  • Read this one aloud with your child.
  • Memorize the poem.
  • Copy a stanza at a time on drawing and writing paper, illustrating each page.
  • Color words that rhyme the same color.
  • What is a runcible spoon? (This is a trick question. Lear made the word up, though we have in more modern times co-opted it to mean part spoon/part fork.) Draw your version of a runcible spoon.
  • Using the same rhyme scheme and rhythm as Lear did in the poem, add your own next verse.
  • Study other poems by Lear. Find a new favorite.
  • Create an author page for Lear.

 

Additional Resources

 

The Limerick: A Unit Study
More about the author along with other resources.

14 Forms of Writing for the Older Student: Poetry
Ideas for writing in the style of Lear.

14 Forms of Writing for the Older Student: Limericks
Lear was known for his limericks.

 

Activities

National Children’s Hour Activity Sheets
Geared toward the poem, this 36-page activity kit includes masks to print and cut, making up nonsense words, science tie-ins, and so much more!

Owl Newsnotes
Read the illustrated letters from Jan Brett explaining why she chose to illustrate the poem.

Cat Logic Activity Page
Cute logic puzzle from Jan Brett.

 

Books

The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward LearThe Owl and the Pussycat
Illustrated by Jan Brett!

Nonsense Songs by Edward Lear
Illustrated public domain title that includes the poem.

The Jumblies and Other Nonsense Verses by Edward Lear
Also includes the “The Owl and the Pussycat.”

A Book of NonsenseA Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
Also by Lear. This is still our favorite version, retaining Lear’s original drawings. (The bad reviews refer to the free Kindle version that was released without pictures!) Also available free online.

 

Printables and Notebooking Pages

Owl and the Pussycat Coloring Page
From Jan Brett.

Author Notebooking Paper
For an author page on Edward Lear.

Drawing and Writing Notebooking Paper
For copying and illustrating the poem.