Saturday, April 19, 2008

JABBERWOCKY And other stuff


Back in the 1870's, Lewis Carroll wrote two of my favorite poems, which were part of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. The first was
Jabberwocky, which begins:

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

(That gave Spellcheck a workout!)


I recall one summer evening when I received a telephone call from a young man my girlfriend had been talking up to me for a while. During the conversation, out of the blue, he quoted the first two lines of that to me. I immediately came back with the next two lines. We knew right away that we had at least something in common, and we made a date. (We found out quickly enough afterwards that we didn't have much more, and never had a second date.)



The other one is Father William. It begins:

"You are old, father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."


It's a rather lengthy, silly poem. It amuses me.



I always loved to hear my sister read Alice to me. But when I was small, the illustrations in the book frightened me. I wanted to hear it, not look at it.

8 comments:

me and my camera said...

Your postings always bring back so many memories for me. I recall studying Jabberwocky in highschool and it was just as amusing then as is reading the beginning of it now.

Dianne said...

I love 'Father William' - thanks for sharing.

Michael Manning said...

Ah, too bad the date wasn't a "go". But I'll bet if you get involved with a writing group, another cool guy will come along. Have fun!

Jo said...

What a delightful coincidence...I adore Jabberwocky! I haven't thought about it in a few years, thanks for that :) I read that to some elementary school students years ago & one of them asked me if I was speaking Chinese LOL!

Father William made me giggle, great stuff.

Kathiesbirds said...

Jabberwocky is one of my favorite poems. I love the way the sounds roll off your toungue and into the world. Thanks for stopping by my Blog.

Singing Bear said...

Purest poetry. Thanks, Bobbie.

Sandpiper said...

This brings back so many memories! I remember reading Alice and those lines from Jabberwocky. It all captivated me.

bobbie said...

Jo - Chinese? That's too funny!

Kathiesbird - Jabberwocky is just pure fun!

Singing bear = You are quite a poet yourself!

Sandpiper - I still love Alice. But I think it's kind of sad that Disney has "done" so many of the classics, and distorted them. Newer generations of kids never get to read the originals.