Bibliography–Primary sources

Have anything you’d like me to add here? Let me know!

Primary sources

Allen, Jonathan. A Bad Case of Animal Nonsense. London: Orion Children’s Books, 1995.

Allen, Woody. Getting Even. New York: Random House, 1971.

___________. Mere Anarchy. New York: Random House, 2007.

___________. Without Feathers. New York: Random House, 1972.

Almond, David. “Glibbertysnark” in the novel My Name is Mina. Delacorte Press, 2010. 161-162.

Barthelme, Donald. The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine; Or, The Hithering Thithering Djinn. Woodstock, NY: The Overlook Press, 1971.

Baxter, Glenn (comics) Blizzards of Tweed. New York: Bloomsbury, 1999.

____________. Glen Baxter, His Life, The Years of Struggle London: Thames and Hudson, 1983.

____________. Trundling Grunts. New York: Bloomsbury, 2002.

____________. The Unhinged World of Glen Baxter. Collected Works, Vol. 2. San Francisco: Pomegranate, 2004.

____________. Welcome to the Weird World of Glen Baxter. New York: Harper & Row, 1989.

Benson, John P. The Woozlebeasts. New York: Moffat, Yard & Co., 1905. (These were collected from his comic strip of the same name)

Burgess, Gelett. The Burgess Nonsense Bok: Being a Complete Collection of the Humorous Masterpieces of Gelett Burgess, Esq. New York: Frederick A. Stokes. 1901Web

Burton, Tim. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories. New York: Rob Weisbach Books, 1997.

Cardiacs (band), “Tarred and Feathered” (video) ((lyrics).and “Loosefish Scapegrace,” on Songs for Ships and Irons (1988) ((lyrics).

Carle, Eric. The Nonsense Show. New York: Philomel Books, 2015.

Carroll, Lewis (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), Alice in Wonderland (1865). ed. Donald J. Gray, 3nd edition. London: Norton. Be sure to read Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, and the epic nonsense poem, “The Hunting of the Snark,” too.

_________. The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll. London: Nonesuch Press, 1940.

Ciardi, John. Doodlesoup. Illus. Merle Nacht. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985.

Daly, Nicholas. A Wanderer in Og. Cape Town: Double Storey Books, 2005.

____________. Mama, Papa, and Baby Joe. Cape Town: Songololo Books, 1991.

Drew, Simon. Still Warthogs Run Deep and other free range nonsense. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1988.

Dylan, Bob. “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” (1965), Bringing It All Back Home.

_________. “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (1965), B-side, “She Belongs To Me”

[Eggers, Dave and his brother Christopher] aka Dr. and Mr. Doris Haggis-on-Whey’. Giraffes? Giraffes!, The Haggis-On-Whey World of Unbelievable Brilliance, Volume 1., Earth: McSweeney’s, 2003.

Ellis, Carson. Du Iz Tak? Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2016. (Is this nonsense? Is it translatable? Perhaps… but most of us will read it as nonsense…)

_________.Your Disgusting Head: The Darkest, Most Offensive—and Moist—Secrets of Your Ears, Mouth and Nose, Volume 2., 2004.

_________. Animals of the Ocean, In particular the giant squid, Volume 3, 2006

_________. Cold Fusion, Volume 4, 2008.

_________. Children and the Tundra, Volume 5, 2016.

Foote, Samuel. The Great Panjandrum Himself. Illus. R. Caldecott. New York, London: Frederick Warne & Co. N.D. .Web. 

Gordon, Mike. Mike’s Corner: Daunting Literary Snippets from Phish’s Bassist. Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1997.

Gorey, Edward. Amphigorey. New York: Perigee, 1972.

_________. Amphigorey too. New York: Perigee, 1975.

_________. Amphigorey Also. Harvest, 1983.

_________. Amphigorey Again. Barnes & Noble, 2002.

Griffith, Bill. Zippy the Pinhead. Comic.

Hamilton, Alexander. The Tuesday Club: A Short Edition of The History of the Ancient and Honorable Tuesday Club. Ed. Robert Micklus. Baltimore & London:  Institute of Early American History & Culture, John’s Hopkins University Press, 1995. Originally published in 3 volumes in 1990. Written from 1745-56.

Heyman, Michael. “The Moustache Maharishi” in The Moustache Maharishi and other unlikely stories. New Delhi: Scholastic, 2007. pp. 145-168.

_______________. See also works in This Book Makes No Sense (Scholastic, 2012)

Hopp, Zinken. The Magic Chalk. Trans. Susanne H. Bergendahl. Illus. Malvin Neset. New York: David McKay Company, Inc. 1959. First published in Norway by J.W. Eides Forlag, under the title Trollkrittet.

Idle, Eric. The Quite Remarkable Adventures of The Owl and the Pussycat. Los Angeles: Dove Kids Book, 1996.

Ionesco, Eugène. Stories 1 2 3 4. Trans. and Illus. Etienne Delessert. McSweeney’s, 2012.

Jarry, Alfred. Exploits & Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician. (1911)

__________. Ubu Rex, Ubu Cuckolded, Ubu Enchaned

Kennedy, X.J.. One Winter Night in August and Other Nonsense Jingles. Illus. David McPhail. New York: Atheneum, 1975.

____________. The Phantom Ice Cream Man: More Nonsense Verse. Illus. David McPhail. New York: Atheneum, 1979.

____________. Uncle Switch: Loony Limericks. Illus. John O’Brien. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1997.

Key, Frank. Brute Beauty and Valour and Act , Oh, Air, Pride, Plume, Here Buckle! London: Hooting Yard, 2012.

_______________. Unspeakable Desolation Pouring Down from the Stars and other tragedies. London: Hooting Yard, 2007.

Kharms, Danil. Incidences. (1933-37). Ed. Neil Cornwell. New York: Serpent’s Tail, 1993.

____________. It Happened Like This: Stories and Poems. trans. Ian Frazier. Illus. Katya Arnold. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1998.

Kipling, Rudyard, Just So Stories.New York: Signet, 1912.

Kroll, Steven. Gobbledy-Gook. Illus. Kelly Oechsli. New York: Holiday House, 1977. Malaprops do not nonsense make, but it’s getting there!

Lawson, JonArno. Black Stars in a White Night Sky. Illus. Sherwin Tjia. Honesdale: Wordsong, 2006.

_______________. Down In The Bottom Of The Bottom Of The Box. Erin, Ontario: The Porcupine’s Quill, 2012.

_______________. Enjoy It While It Hurts. Hamilton: Wolsak and Wynn Publishers, 2013.

_______________. The Hobo’s Crowbar. Illus. Alec Dempster. Erin, Ontario: The Porcupine’s Quill, 2016.

_______________. The Man in the Moon-Fixer’s Mask. Illus. Sherwin Tjia. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong, 2004.

_______________. A Voweller’s Bestiary from aardvark to guineafowl (and H). Erin, Ontario: The Porcupine’s Quill, 2008.

Lear, Edward, The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense. Ed. Vivian Noakes. London: Penguin, 2001. (click here for Marco Graziosi’s online Lear texts. Not as authoritative, but pretty good!).

Lee, Dennis. Alligator Pie. Illus. Frank Newfeld. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1975.

Lennon, John, Skywriting by Word of Mouth and other writings, including The Ballad of John and Yoko. New York: Perennial, 1986.

_________. The Writings of John Lennon: In His Own Write, A Spaniard in the Works New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964, 1965.

Livingston, Myra Cohn. A Lollygag of Limericks. Illus. Joseph Low. New York: Atheneum, 1978.

Lobel, Arnold. Odd Owls & Stout Pigs: A Book of Nonsense. Illus. Adrianne Lobel. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. One of the few practitioners of Lear’s same-rhyme limerick style. Much of this is not really nonsense, but some approaches.

Milligan, Spike, Silly Verse for Kids. London: Puffin, 1968.

Mills, Neil. “Squalinda” on Konkrete Canticle ‎– Experiments In Disintegrating Language, 1971. Audio.

Morgenstern, Christian, The Gallows Songs: Christian Morgenstern’s “Galgenlieder”, trans. Max Knight. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963.

Mullican, Moon (Aubrey Wilson Mullican). “New Pretty Blonde (New Jole Blon)” (1946).

O’Brien, Flann. The Third Policeman. Chicago: Dalkey Archive Press, 1999. (1st ed. MacGibbon & Kee, 1967) (written 1939-40)

Peake, Mervyn, A Book of Nonsense. London: Picador, 1972.

_________. Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor. London: Country Life Book, 1939.

_________. Complete Nonsense. Eds.  Peter Winnington and Robert Warner Maslen. Fyfield, 2011. This is the authoritative source now.

_________. Rhymes Without Reason. Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1944.

_________. Titus Groan. London: , London: Methuen, 1946.

Phillips, Sally Kahler. Nonsense!  New York: Random House, 2006.

Pinto, Jerry. Monster Garden: A Draw-It-Yourself Picture Book. Illus. Priya Kuriyan. Chennai: Duckbill Books, 2016.

Rasmussen, Halfdan. Hocus Pocus: Nonsense Rhymes, adapted from Danish by Peter Wesley-Smith, Illus. IB Spang Olsen. London: Angus & Robertson, 1973.

__________________. A Little Bitty Man and Other Poems for the Very Young. trans. Marilyn Nelson and Pamela Espeland. Illus. Kevin Hawkes. Somerville: Candlewick Press, 2011.

Ravishankar, Anushka, Excuse Me Is This India? illus. by Anita Leutwiler, Chennai: Tara Publishing, 2001.

_________. Hic!, Illus. Christiane Pieper. Chennai: Tara Publishing, 2017.

_________. Today is My Day, illus. Piet Grobler, Chennai: Tara Publishing, 2003. 

_________. Wish You Were Here, Chennai: Tara Publishing, 2003.

Ray, Sukumar. verses in The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Indian Nonsense. Ed. Michael Heyman, Anushka Ravishankar, Sumanu Satpathy. New Delhi: Penguin, 2007.

____________. Nonsense Rhymes. Trans. Satyajit Ray. Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1997.

____________. Abol Tabol: The Nonsense World of Sukumar Ray. Trans. Sampurna Chattarji. New Delhi: Puffin, 2004.

____________. The Select Nonsense of Sukumar Ray. Trans. Sukanta Chaudhuri. Calcutta: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Reid, Alastair. Ounce Dice Trice. Illus. Ben Shahn. New York: The New York Review of Books, 1958. Excerpts here.

Richards, Laura E., I Have a Song to Sing You: Still More Rhymes, illus. Reginald Birch. New York, London: D. Appleton—Century Company, 1938.

_________. Tirra Lirra: Rhymes Old and New, illus. Marguerite Davis. London: George G. Harrap, 1933.

Roethke, Theodore. I Am! Says the Lamb: a joyous book of sense and nonsense verse. illus. Robert Leydenfrost. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1961. 

_________________. Party At The Zoo. Illus. Al Swiller. New York: The Crowell-Collier Press, 1963.

_________________. Dirty Dinky and Other Creatures: Poems for Children by Theodore Roethke. Selected by Beatrice Roethke and Stephen Lushington. Illus. Julie Brinckloe. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1973.

Rosen, Michael, Michael Rosen’s Book of Nonsense, illus. Claire Mackie. Hove: Macdonald Young Books, 1997. 

_____________. Even More Nonsense. Illus. Claire Mackie. Hodder Wayland, 2000.

Sandburg, Carl, Rootabaga Stories. (1922) On Gutenberg. On

_________. More Rootabaga Stories (1923)

_________. Potato Face. (1930)

Satie, Erik, A Mammal’s Notebook. ed. Ornella Volta. . Trans. Antony Melville. London: Atlas Press, 1996.

Scieszka, John and Lane Smith. Baloney (Henry P.). New York: Viking, 2001.

Seuss, Dr. The Cat in the Hat. New York: Random House, 1957.

________. On Beyond Zebra! New York: Random House, 1955. 

Silverstein, Shel. Don’t Bump the Glump. HarperCollins, 1964.

______________. Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back. Harper & Row, 1963.

______________. Runny Babbit HarperCollins, 2005.

______________. Where The Sidewalk Ends. Harper & Row, 1974.

Spektor, Regina. “Back of a Truck.” 11:11. 2001. (song)

Swinburn, Algernon Charles, Nephelidia

They Might Be Giants. “Thinking Machine” and “Violin” and “Shoehorn With Teeth.”

Thurber, James, The 13 Clocks, 1950. New York: Dell, 1990. 

Watts, Alan, Nonsense. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1975; originally Stolen Paper Review Editions, 1967.

Watts, Reggie. “If You’re F*cking, Then You’re Probably F*cking” (music video).

—————— this TED talk

——————POPTECH talk.

West, Colin. The Big Book of Nonsense: Poems to Make You Laugh Out Loud. Hutchinson, 2001.

Wyatt, Robert. “Blues in Bob Minor,” and “The Duchess” on Shleep, 1997.





The Book of Nonsense. Ed. Paul Jennings. London: Raven Books, 1977.

A Book of Nonsense Songs. Ed. Norman Cazden.  Illus. Charles Keller. New York: Crown Publishers, 1961.

A Book of Nonsense Verse, collected by Langford Reed, Illus. H.M. Bateman. New York & London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1926.

The Chatto Book of Nonsense Poetry, ed. Hugh Haughton. London: Chatto & Windus, 1988. 

The Everyman Book of Nonsense Verse, ed. Louise Guinness. New York: Everyman, 2004.

The Faber Book of Nonsense Verse, ed. Geoffrey Grigson. London: Faber, 1979. 

A Nonsense Anthology, collected by Carolyn Wells. New York: Charles Schribner’s Sons, 1902.

The Nonsense Book of Riddles, Rhymes, Tongue Twisters, Puzzles and Jokes from American Folklore. Collected by Duncan Emrich. Illus. Ib Ohlsson. New York: Four Winds Press, 1970.

The Nonsensibus. Compiled by D. B. Wyndham Lewis. London: Methuen & Co., 1936.

Nursery Nonsense. Ed. Barbara Ireson. Illus. George Adamson. London: Faber and Faber, 1956

Oh, What Nonsense!, selected by William Cole, illus. Tomi Ungerer. London: Methuen & Co., 1966. 

Perplexicon: Het abc van de nonsens. Eds. Tysger Boelens & Gerrit Komrij. Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2007. This is mostly in Dutch–but it is a cracking anthology, with some occasional English.

The Puffin Book of Nonsense Verse, selected and illus. Quentin Blake. London: Puffin, 1994. 

Pumpkin Grumpkin: Nonsense Poems from Around the World. Collected by John Agard and Grace Nichols. London: Walker Books, 2011.

The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Indian Nonsense, ed. Michael Heyman, with Sumanyu Satpithy and Anushka Ravishankar. New Delhi: Penguin, 2007. The blog for this book and Indian nonsense: [1]

This Book Makes No Sense: Nonsense Poems and Worse. Ed. Michael Heyman. Illus. Priya Kuriyan. New Delhi: Scholastic, 2012.

Malcolm, Noel, The Origins of English Nonsense. London: Fontana/ HarperCollins, 1997. About half of this volume is an anthology of early (pre-Victorian) English nonsense.