Lewis Carroll

(27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898 / Cheshire)

Jabberwocky - Poem by Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
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Comments about Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

  • Rune (5/9/2010 2:47:00 PM)

    Brillig doesn't mean brilliant, I don't know where some of you are getting your ideas.
    If you've read the novel the poem comes from, you'd have read this line:
    ''Brillig' means four o'clock in the afternoon - the time when you begin broiling things for dinner.'
    If anything, this poem is a wonderful example of using the sound and feel of words to set a tone or an atmosphere.
    Carroll was exceptionally good at inventing words that seem to have an innate meaning, a good number of his words have actually made their ways into dictionaries and everyday language ('chortle' is a good example) . (Report) Reply

    54 person liked.
    39 person did not like.
  • Joseph Poewhit (4/17/2010 6:50:00 PM)

    One for the MAD HATTER (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (4/17/2010 4:53:00 PM)

    A dream world of 'abnormal consciousness'? 'Gay gibberish'? A wikipedia site that provides 'sense of this nonsense poem'? And you all ignore the kind of obvious common sense that should jump out and grab you by your tootles by gum! Read and learn, my slithy toves as you gyre and gimble together!

    First and foremost 'Jabberwocky' is written in standard English in a recognizable verse form that rhymes abab. Have you never heard a politician speak in the sort of gibberish that Lewis Carroll uses? Saying things he doesn't mean in order to garner votes from the hoi-polloi? If you read Carroll's verses carefully, you can separate nouns from verbs, adjectives from adverbs, and all the other parts of speech in various forms - more to the point than most pols I've heard in recent months! Some words Carroll devised for this poem that appears in 'Through the Looking-Glass' illustrate the very nonsense he was attempting to expose in the book about an innocent girl who sees clearly once she's gone down that rabbit hole!

    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I chortle in my joy! (Report) Reply

  • No Name (4/17/2010 8:18:00 AM)

    I agree this is some gay gibberish. Already Reported Reply

  • Kevin Straw Kevin Straw (4/17/2010 5:57:00 AM)

    Carroll uses suggestion in this poem to bring the reader into an abnormal state of consciousness.
    He creates a dream world which strange things can inhabit by using strange, but often half understood, words - the Jabberwocky gains credence by the way the reader is slipped into a different mode of consciousness from the first line.
    The language is like that used by someone under the influence of a drug - or by children!
    The word 'brillig' has a meaning which is known (by its being like 'brilliant') and unknown at the same time.
    Whether he is entirely successful I do not know, for if he knows what 'brillig' means, he does not communicate that meaning to his reader.
    Films such as Walt Disney makes, I feel, are better at doing what Carroll is doing here. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A Ramesh T A (4/17/2010 12:52:00 AM)

    A poem children would admire with wonder more than mature audience! He is children's best bet! (Report) Reply

  • Chloe Francis (3/17/2010 4:02:00 PM)

    My greatest inspiration! ! ! His nonsense words, his strange creatures...you could truly get lost in Wonderland! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Kelsey Draeger Kelsey Draeger (8/15/2009 3:09:00 PM)

    I love it! when i was in 3rd grade, my teacher read that poem to me.Now, he(and Lewis Carroll) have inspired me to write poems(and books) .Thank you! (Report) Reply

  • Deborah Schuff (4/20/2009 8:35:00 PM)

    A wonderfully silly poem, a must to read out loud! Lewis Carroll had a wonderful way with words, whether real or imaginary. (Report) Reply

  • Milica Franchi De Luri (4/17/2009 10:12:00 PM)

    I didn't understand a word from the first four verses. Is that English or gibberish? (Report) Reply

  • Anthony Foster (4/17/2009 3:42:00 PM)

    It reads as if a young child was speaking the words. A very enjoyable read written by a brilliant poet. (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (4/17/2009 3:01:00 PM)

    Just had some imagination, to put the killing of a bird into surrealistic tone for his era of writing. A standout of imagination. As seen in Alice in Wonderland. Fantasy in his era, was real, real far left, for Church orientated societies. A rare bird was Lewis Carroll. (Report) Reply

  • Ian Fraser (2/26/2009 8:13:00 AM)

    Lewis Carroll aka Rev Charles Lutwidge Dodgson easily makes it into my top 50. One of the great mavericks and eccentrics of English literature he cunningly encoded some wicked satire on Victorian manners and morals in the guise of literature for children. Great efforts have been made to decipher his work but it has for the most part resisted. Particular attention has been paid to the Jabberwocky in this poem, but no definitive identity has ever been obtained, though it is almost certainly one of Rev. Dodgson's clerical superiors.
    Carroll was also a brilliant parodist. 'You are Old Father William', included in poemhunter.com is for example the definitive parody of William Wordsworth, whose work was very popular with the Victorians. To my mind Jabberwocky also has the air of a parody, though it is hard to say exactly of what. Perhaps he was just making fun of those (many) writers who strain for effect by using abstruse 'poetic' language. (Report) Reply

  • Janri Gogeshvili (4/17/2008 3:58:00 AM)

    Shining, _Symbolics … wit … (Report) Reply

  • Philippe Barbeau (4/17/2007 4:20:00 PM)

    very nice poem, very thoughtful too! (Report) Reply

  • Chris Purser (4/17/2007 3:19:00 PM)

    This poem is brilliant (Report) Reply

  • Pinarose Onyournose (4/3/2007 8:37:00 PM)

    This poem is brilliant! I can't help but smile every time I read it. I've memorized it too. If you liked this poem, you might also like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat by Lewis Carroll:

    Twinkle, twinkle, little bat,
    How I wonder what your at,
    Up above the world you fly,
    Like a tea tray in the sky.

    (PS: I dare to read this out loud without laughing. It's next to impossible!) (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Stilwell (2/16/2007 8:39:00 PM)

    I love this poem and have it almost memorized. I think it is just rollicking good fun. Seher Arif, I wish you had been my high school English teacher. That is a terrific idea for kids to explore the poem. (Report) Reply

  • Seher Arif (10/24/2006 9:54:00 AM)

    This is an exciting poem and fun to read. If you had to teach this poem, I guess one way of going about it would be to ask pupils to underline all of the made up words and replace them with other words (that exist in the dictionary) that are close to what Lewis Carroll is trying to convey. Any thoughts? (Report) Reply

  • Raymond Dickinson (10/22/2006 12:46:00 PM)

    I remember this poem from my secondery school days 54yrs ago at Beckfield Lane school York, the class was asked to read it out aloud one by one, when after a few attempts by various pupils, some were good readers, it was found that no one could compleat the first line, instead of explaining the words to us the teacher asked if anyone could read the poem, when no one could it was very upsetting for all as he was a very arrogant and awful teacher, he spent the rest of that class telling us that we were all useless. But now after finding it on the poem Finder I can learn it myself and explain it to my grandchildren. Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. A poem to consider learning. (Report) Reply

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