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Earliest known whimsical writings?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by FilterFunk, May 28, 2012.


  1. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    I teach preschool, so nursery rhymes come up a lot. This one is very well-known:

    Hey diddle diddle
    The cat and the fiddle
    The cow jumped over the moon
    The little dog laughed to see such sport
    And the dish ran away with the spoon

    Unless there's some hidden meaning or lesson in those words (although I'm sure someone has found it, whether it's there or not :)), it's pure nonsensical whimsy. What are the earliest examples of people writing purely for fun? This was a tough one to Google...
     
  2. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    My wife so fat, when sit around cave-she sit AROUND cave!!
     
  3. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Creation Myths?
     
  4. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Funny!:D
     
  5. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Funny.:rolleyes:
     
  6. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
  7. rr5025

    rr5025

    Nov 12, 2008
    Here comes the can of worms...
     
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I took my wife mammoth hunting: She was butchered and eaten by other tribe. No respect, I tell ya.......
     
  9. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    I sure hope not. I was really hoping this thread would be, well, whimsical! But some folks unfortunately can't help taking a stab at religion :rollno:.
     
  10. fraublugher

    fraublugher

    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    Ivor Cutler , Scottish folk hero , childrens/adult/ book/story/poet/songwriter

    and

    influenced Pete Townsend and John Lennon.
     
  11. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Edward Lear
     
  12. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Not really. Creation myths are common among ancient peoples, and because nobody knew how this all came to be (still don't really know) by their very nature they are full of imagination/whimsy. Since they were so important to a culture, it stands to reason they'd be one of the first things documented if a culture ever developed writing.
     
  13. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    It's cool; I get what you mean now. As you stated, though, they are "so important to a culture," so I don't think they were written purely for fun or whimsy, and there are billions of people who don't consider certain creation stories to be "myths." However, I do appreciate the perspective you bring.
     
  14. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I wouldn't think that anyone would consider the creation story they believe in to be a myth, but where does that leave the creation stories of other peoples?
     
  15. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    I'd rather not get too deep into this because (a) it can't help but involve religion, and that's verboten 'round these parts, and (b) it's derailing the thread.

    Any more examples of early whimsical writings, anyone? Not just pointed jokes, but nonsensical, "just because" musings?
     
  16. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    Jabberwocky

    'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!"

    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought—
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! and through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    "And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
    He chortled in his joy.

    'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    ~ Lewis Carroll


    The Dong with a Luminous Nose

    When awful darkness and silence reign
    Over the great Gromboolian plain,
    Through the long, long wintry nights;--
    When the angry breakers roar
    As they beat on the rocky shore;--
    When Storm-clouds brood on the towering heights
    Of the Hills of the Chankly Bore:--

    Then, through the vast and gloomy dark,
    There moves what seems a fiery spark,
    A lonely spark with silvery rays
    Piercing the coal-black night,--
    A Meteor strange and bright:--
    Hither and thither the vision strays,
    A single lurid light.

    Slowly it wanders,--pauses,--creeeps,--
    Anon it sparkles,--flashes and leaps;
    And ever as onward it gleaming goes
    A light on the Bong-tree stems it throws.
    And those who watch at that midnight hour
    From Hall or Terrace, or lofty Tower,
    Cry, as the wild light passes along,--
    'The Dong!--the Dong!
    'The wandering Dong through the forest goes!
    'The Dong! the Dong!
    'The Dong with a luminous Nose!'

    Long years ago
    The Dong was happy and gay,
    Till he fell in love with a Jumbly Girl
    Who came to those shores one day,
    For the Jumblies came in a sieve, they did,--
    Landing at eve near the Zemmery Fidd
    Where the Oblong Oysters grow,
    And the rocks are smooth and gray.
    And all the woods and the valleys rang
    With the Chorus they daily and nightly sang,--
    '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.'

    Happily, happily passed those days!
    While the cheerful Jumblies staid;
    They danced in circlets all night long,
    To the plaintive pipe of the lively Dong,
    In moonlight, shine, or shade.
    For day and night he was always there
    By the side of the Jumbly Girl so fair,
    With her sky-blue hands, and her sea-green hair.
    Till the morning came of that hateful day
    When the Jumblies sailed in their sieve away,
    And the Dong was left on the cruel shore
    Gazing--gazing for evermore,--
    Ever keeping his weary eyes on
    That pea-green sail on the far horizon,--
    Singing the Jumbly Chorus still
    As he sate all day on the grassy hill,--
    '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.'

    But when the sun was low in the West,
    The Dong arose and said;--
    --'What little sense I once possessed
    'Has quite gone out of my head!'--
    And since that day he wanders still
    By lake or forest, marsh and hill,
    Singing--'O somewhere, in valley or plain
    'Might I find my Jumbly Girl again!
    'For ever I'll seek by lake and shore
    'Till I find my Jumbly Girl once more!'

    Playing a pipe with silvery squeaks,
    Since then his Jumbly Girl he seeks,
    And because by night he could not see,
    He gathered the bark of the Twangum Tree
    On the flowery plain that grows.
    And he wove him a wondrous Nose,--
    A Nose as strange as a Nose could be!
    Of vast proportions and painted red,
    And tied with cords to the back of his head.
    --In a hollow rounded space it ended
    With a luminous Lamp within suspended,
    All fenced about
    With a bandage stout
    To prevent the wind from blowing it out;--
    And with holes all round to send the light,
    In gleaming rays on the dismal night.

    And now each night, and all night long,
    Over those plains still roams the Dong;
    And above the wall of the Chimp and Snipe
    You may hear the sqeak of his plaintive pipe
    While ever he seeks, but seeks in vain
    To meet with his Jumbly Girl again;
    Lonely and wild--all night he goes,--
    The Dong with a luminous Nose!
    And all who watch at the midnight hour,
    From Hall or Terrace, or lofty Tower,
    Cry, as they trace the Meteor bright,
    Moving along through the dreary night,--
    'This is the hour when forth he goes,
    'The Dong with a luminous Nose!
    'Yonder--over the plain he goes,
    'He goes!
    'He goes;
    'The Dong with a luminous Nose!'


    ~ Edward Lear
     
  17. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    That's OK. It was a rhetorical question.
     
  18. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Good stuff, Funky!
     
  19. EBodious

    EBodious

    Aug 2, 2006
    Iowa
    my thoughts exactly.


    i was at a presentation at mesa verde a few decades ago and the presenter, who was indigenous to the area, gently made the point that there doesn't have to be only one creation story for all people.

    but none of that is really whimsy. there is a pretty good history of 'nonsense verse' in european culture. probly in others too...
     

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