In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works

John Lennon

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"In His Own Write" and "A Spaniard in the Works" are of a piece, but different. The first is loose and off the cuff, while the latter features longer, more ambitious writings and wordplay in the vein of Edward Lear. Like Lear, Lennon relies on nonsense as a strategy and composes doggerel and silly stories, although he also can be quite pointed. For example, the poem "Our Dad" - which begins, "It wasn't long before old dad / Was cumbersome - a drag. / He seemed to get the message and / Began to pack his bag" - seems to speak directly to his own father, who ran off when Lennon was a boy, only to reemerge in the wake of the Beatles' rise. The drawings, meanwhile, are reminiscent of James Thurber, with their rounded figures and exaggerated sense of irony. In one, a group of men hold a brightly lit dog aloft like a lantern; in another, a blind beggar stands next to a man who wears a sign that reads, "I can see quite clearly."

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