To me, the poem “The Dong with the Luminous Nose” by Edward Lear, is a rather intriguing story. It’s not one of those stories when the prince (the Dong) finds his princess (the Jumbly girl), gets married and lives happily-ever-after. The Dong has lost his Jumbly Girl when she went back to sea in the sieve with the other Jumblies, and still goes out overland in search for his Jumbly Girl and… is still out there, always looking for her. This ending was a nice change from the usual, but it also makes me curious why it ended like that. Why didn’t the author make it so that the Dong finally finds his true love and they sail off together in the moonlight and live harmoniously together? Was he just sick of the ending in every story (like I can be), or did this sort of experience happen to him?

Part of me wonders if he found his true love, but it somehow got away, and he didn’t get his happily-ever-after, maybe like he had dreamed about. This ending made me very curious – it made me hope that the author (when he was still alive) had made a sequel, and there was more to the story than it seemed. I want to know if the Dong ever found her, if they ever fell in love again, if all he did to try to find her paid off. I was also wondering why he chose to make the nose the part of his body that became luminous. Was it just random, or was there a meaning to it, one that I hadn’t noticed? All in all, I enjoyed this poem: it made me ask questions, be curious, and I liked that. I liked that I didn’t know everything there was to know about it, and that the story didn’t need to be like every other one to be amazing and unique.

Alison Bizzaro adds to the conversation:

This poem is extremely odd in an intriguing way. There is not a thing in this poem that makes sense, but it makes me curious to find out why such a strange poem was written. This poem is most likely famous for the same reason I am intrigued by it. It’s so odd, almost surreal, but it makes you curious. This poem also uses very colorful visual descriptions, such as “a lonely spark with silvery rays/ piercing the coal-black night” and “Slowly it wanders,–pauses,–creeeps,–/Anon it sparkles,–flashes and leaps;” which keep any readers of this poem interested in the poem. The illustrations give a clear idea of what these clearly made up beings look like. It would be quite difficult to imagine what such specific characters could possibly look like, and the illustrations help to paint a picture and set a tone for the poem.

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