Just because – an old tale for today

A repeat of a favorite.


Lewis Carroll

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!’

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One two! One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

‘And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

The most famous nonsense poem in the English language. It is just delicious! I helped my daughter to memorize it for a school recitation when she was nine or ten years old, and I have always loved it. Whether or not Carroll was taking drugs at the time it was written is up for debate. I think not.

According to Wikipedia, this nonsense poem may have been partly inspired by The Lambton Worm, a legend from County Durham in North East England in the UK. The story takes place around the River Wear, and is one of the area’s most famous pieces of folklore. Lewis Carroll was staying in the area when he wrote all but the first stanza. That first stanza was written ten years before publication of Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, in which The Jabberwocky appears.

How does it pertain to recent events? Our upside down and backwards world these days is no less nonsensical.

A reading of the poem – h/t to Menagerie from the last time I posted this.

This entry was posted in Humor, Poetry, The Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Just because – an old tale for today

  1. Menagerie says:

    My grandson fell in love with this poem. I will play it for him again tomorrow. Last time we listened to it, several months ago, he still loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. czarowniczy says:

    I always thougfht Ca


    • czarowniczy says:

      #$@^& Chromebook.

      I always thought Carroll was paraphrasing a day spent listening to the House of Lords (theirs, not ours – though it could equally apply).

      Liked by 1 person

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