What a delightful package is "The Everyman Book of Nonsense Verse," edited and introduced by Louise Guinness (Everyman's Library, 256 pp...

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What a delightful package is “The Everyman Book of Nonsense Verse,” edited and introduced by Louise Guinness (Everyman’s Library, 256 pp., $15.95). There’s poetry by Odgen Nash, G.K. Chesterton, James Fenton, Theodore Roethke and Edward Gorey (to name a few); illustrations by Quentin Blake, Mervyn Peake and Gorey, who illustrates his own contributions (as do Chesterton and Peake).

This one by “Anonymous” (illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark) could have been penned after watching one too many nature shows on PBS:

The Common Cormorant

The common cormorant or shag

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Lays eggs inside a paper bag

The reason you will see no doubt —

It is to keep the lightning out.

But what these unobservant birds

Have never noticed is that herds

Of wandering bears may come with buns

And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.

Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor