The Table And The Chair

The Table And The Chair

By Edward Lear

I
Said the Table to the Chair,
‘You can hardly be aware,
‘How I suffer from the heat,
‘And from chilblains on my feet!
‘If we took a little walk,
‘We might have a little talk!
‘Pray let us take the air!’
Said the Table to the Chair.
II
Said the Chair unto the Table,
‘Now you know we are not able!
‘How foolishly you talk,
‘When you know we cannot walk!’
Said the Table, with a sigh,
‘It can do no harm to try,
‘I’ve as many legs as you,
‘Why can’t we walk on two?’
III
So they both went slowly down,
And walked about the town
With a cheerful bumpy sound,
As they toddled round and round.
And everybody cried,
As they hastened to their side,
‘See! the Table and the Chair
‘Have come out to take the air!’
IV
But in going down an alley,
To a castle in a valley,
They completely lost their way,
And wandered all the day,
Till, to see them safely back,
They paid a Ducky-quack,
And a Beetle, and a Mouse,
Who took them to their house.
V
Then they whispered to each other,
‘O delightful little brother!
‘What a lovely walk we’ve taken!
‘Let us dine on Beans and Bacon!’
So the Ducky, and the leetle
Browny-Mousy and the Beetle
Dined, and danced upon their heads
Till they toddled to their beds.

Summary of The Table And The Chair

  • Popularity of “The Table And The Chair”: “The Table And The Chair” by Edward Lear, an English artist, illustrator, author, poet, and writer, is a beautiful simple poem. The poem first appeared in 1993 in the book of the same title, The Table and the Chair. It presents the story of a Chair and a Table talking to each other about the walk they undertake. The popularity of the poem lies in the dialogue of the Table and the Chair presented in an excitingly funny manner.
  • “The Table And The Chair” As a Representative of Fun and Excitement: The poet opens the poem with a bang, presenting a lifeless thing, the Table, talking to the Chair. The Table asks the Chair that he is suffering from heat and that he wants fresh air. Therefore, the Chair should walk with him outside the house but the Chair refuses, saying that they cannot walk. However, the Table stays adamant and asks the Chair to come out of the house or at least try. When both of them get out of the house, they feel cheered and go to the valley to have a long walk. The Bettle and the Mouse also go with him with several other animals and they have a pleasant walk and chit-chat. Afterward, they go to Beans and Bacon and dine with the Bettle and Mouse and dance to their heart’s content.
  • Major Themes in “The Table And The Chair”: Help of others, enjoyment, and a little try are three major themes of the poem. Although Edward Lear presents the Table and the Chair which are not supposed to move, he personifies them. The Table asks the Chair to help him in walking outside the house and both help each other and enjoy some moments of fresh air. In this way, they make each other enjoy and take others with them as the Ducky, the Mousey, and the Beetle. Also, the poem shows that a little try can make many people happy.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in “The Table And The Chair”

literary devices are necessary tools to make poetic writing beautiful and enchanting. The analysis of these devices in the poem “The Table and The Chair” as given below shows this fact.

  1. Allegory: Allegory means to present a story in a way that it has different interpretations. This poem shows the use of an allegory as the Table and the Chair presents different interpretations when taken on another level including human beings.
  2. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line such as the sound of /a/ in “Said the Table to the Chair, / ‘You can hardly be aware”, /o/ in “Now you know we are not able!” and the sound of /e/ in “Then they whispered to each other.”
  3. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /w/ and /k/ in “When you know we cannot talk!”, /d/ and /n/ in “As they toddled round and round,” and the sound of /l/ and /s/ in “They completely lost their way.”
  4. Dialogue: The poem shows the use of dialogue such as the Table asks the chair;

Said the Table, with a sigh,
‘It can do no harm to try,
‘I’ve as many legs as you.

  1. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; rather, it rolls over to the next line. For example;

So the Ducky, and the leetle
Browny-Mousy and the Beetle
Dined, and danced upon their heads
Till they toddled to their beds.

  1. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. The poem shows the use of imagery such as “So they both went slowly down”, “As they hastened to their side” and “But in going down an alley.”
  2. Metaphor: It is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between the objects that are different. The poem shows two beautiful metaphors of the Table and the Chair compared to human beings.
  3. Personification: The poet has shown the use of personifications of the Table and the Chair as if they have life and emotions of their own.
  4. Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings that are different from literal meanings. The poem shows the use of different symbols such as the chair, the table, the castle, and the valley to show the spirit of excitement.

 Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in “The Table And The Chair”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Diction and Tone: The poem shows the use of simple diction. Its tone, however, is serious as well as funny.
  2. Rhyme Scheme: The poem shows the use of AABBCCDD rhyme scheme in all of its stanzas.
  3. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are five stanzas with each having eight verses.

Quotes to be Used

 These lines from “The Table And The Chair” are relevant to quote when delivering a lecture about the importance of enjoyment and happiness in life.

Then they whispered to each other,
‘O delightful little brother!
‘What a lovely walk we’ve taken!
‘Let us dine on Beans and Bacon!’
So the Ducky, and the leetle
Browny-Mousy and the Beetle
Dined, and danced upon their heads
Till they toddled to their beds.