Anne Ryan

‘Moonfish’ poetry

Playing and having fun with words are core strategies for developing skills of creativity, especially for the very young.

Edward Lear and Spike Milligan’s nonsense poetry have always inspired me. From a very early age I was fascinated by the minimalism and efficiency of these author’s poetry accompanied by their simple line drawings.

Recently I found a collection of my childhood books and among them was my original copy of Edward Lear’s ‘Nonsense Books’.

I was reminded of the playful, hilarious and brilliant ideas that Lear created in only three or four short sentences. I spent hours over this book, (as evident by the weakened spine of my original copy) thinking about the twists and double meanings he created with such simple lines of texts and zany sketches.

I remember vividly the unsettling feeling I would get from reading the text, until I looked at the hilarious illustrations that filled in the rhythm and the meanings of the author’s verse.

Poetry is such a precious art form.

So you can imagine the excitement I had on reading Harry Laing’s playful texts for his hilarious poetry book entitled ‘Moonfish’.

The surrealist imagery from Lear’s illustration

came immediately to mind.

Inspired by my recent trip to the Isle of Skye, I drew form the same landscape that once inspired Mr Lear himself.

It was fun playing with Harry’s poem, “Pet Flea”.

I enjoyed creating lots of roughs inspired by the little creatures and had a great time flipping the concept of size in the final illustration.

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