A short tribute

The Quangle Wangle’s Hat


On the top of the Crumpetty Tree
The Quangle Wangle sat,
But his face you could not see,
On account of his Beaver Hat.
For his Hat was a hundred and two feet wide,
With ribbons and bibbons on every side
And bells, and buttons, and loops, and lace,
So that nobody ever could see the face
Of the Quangle Wangle Quee.


The Quangle Wangle said
To himself on the Crumpetty Tree, -
”Jam; and jelly; and bread;
”Are the best of food for me!
”But the longer I live on this Crumpetty Tree,
The plainer than ever it seems to me
”That very few people come this way,
”And that life on the whole is far from gay!”
Said the Quangle Wangle Quee.


But there came to the Crumpetty Tree,
Mr. and Mrs. Canary;
And they said, - “Did ever you see
”Any spot so charmingly airy?
”May we build a nest on your lovely Hat?
”Mr. Quangle Wangle, grant us that !
”O please let us come and build a nest
”Of whatever material suits you best,
”Mr. Quangle Wangle Quee!”


And besides, to the Crumpetty Tree
Came the Stork, the Duck and the Owl;
The Snail and the Bumble-Bee,
The Frog, and the Fimble Fowl;
(The Fimble Fowl, with a Corkscrew leg);
And all of them said, - “We humbly beg,
”We may build our homes on your lovely Hat, -
”Mr. Quangle Wangle, grant us that!
”Mr. Quangle Wangle Quee!”


And the Golden Grouse came there,
And the Pobble who has not toes -
And the small Olympian bear, -
And the Dong with a luminous nose.
And the Blue Baboon, who played the flute, -
And the Orient Calf from the Land of Tute, -
And the Attery Squash, and the Bisky Bat, -
All came and built on the lovely Hat
Of the Quangle Wangle Quee.


And the Quangle Wangle said
To himself on the Crumpetty Tree, -
”When all these creatures move
”What a wonderful noise there’ll be!”
And at night by the light of the Mulberry moon
They danced to the Flute of the Blue Baboon,
On the broad green leaves of the Crumpetty Tree,
And all were as happy as happy could be,
With the Quangle Wangle Quee.

Edward Lear

I can only read this poem with the sound of my father’s voice in my head. He read it me, to all of us, when we were young, and it says so much about his love of poetry, the whimsical, word-play and sharing.

We found a box of his poems hidden away in a cupboard. He would write mainly for events, farewells and celebrations; always generous and funny tributes to their subjects.

My father drew, painted, whistled, sang, sculpted copper bas-reliefs, made furniture and toys. He turned wood, welded steel and he built his family a home - all of it.

His creative and adventurous spirit has influenced all in his family, and like the Quangle Wangle Quee, he made room for us all to create in our own ways.

When he died last week, after a slow decline, the loss of this strong, handsome and talented man struck hard. But though I am heavy with grief, I felt like making this short tribute to him, on the platform of my own creative outlet. I keep it short, I don’t want to be mawkish or sentimental, but I wanted to quietly say how proud I am of my father, how much I loved him and how much I will miss him.

My lovely folks

My lovely folks