The ‘Gormenghast Trilogy’ by Mervyn Peake, is one of my all-time favourites. For me, so much more dramatic, gripping, atmospheric, mind-grabbing and enjoyable than the fantasies of Tolkien and J. K. Rowling, much as I have enjoyed those. Perhaps I shall have more to say about Gormenghast in a future blog, but, for now, just a taste of Peake’s lighter side, from a published collection of his, with the title ‘A Book of Nonsense’. It was said during Mervyn Peake’s lifetime that his serious work was often full of humour, while his nonsense verse was full of philosophy.
THE TROUBLE WITH GERANIUMS
The trouble with geraniums
is that they’re much too red!
The trouble with my toast is that
it’s far too full of bread.
The trouble with a diamond
is that it’s much too bright.
The same applies to fish and stars
and the electric light.
The troubles with the stars I see
lies in the way they fly.
The trouble with myself is all
self-centred in the eye.
The trouble with my looking-glass
is that it shows me, me;
there’s trouble in all sorts of things
where it should never be.
By Mervyn Peake. This poem is from “A Book of Nonsense” by Mervyn Peake, first published by Peter Owen in 1972 and re-issued in 1999.