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

  • Jinny Kim (1/21/2013 4:07:00 PM)

    When I first read this poem... I was just so shocked at the intensity of it... Even though you might have a hard time understanding it, it's still so intense! And I had to do an analysis on this poem, and I understood everything so much better and it just hit me like a wave... And I was just so shocked at how awesome it is! (Report) Reply

    100 person liked.
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  • Kelsey Draeger Kelsey Draeger (6/24/2012 8:53:00 PM)

    i love this poem. when i was a child, my favorite teacher used to read this poem to me. this poem actually is what inspired me to write poetry (and my english teachers) . so, Bravo, Carroll! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Carlos Echeverria (4/17/2012 11:12:00 AM)

    As a children's poem, it's a great way to initiate their ears to poetic techniques. (Report) Reply

  • Brianna Winebarger Brianna Winebarger (4/17/2012 10:28:00 AM)

    i don't like this poem! ! ! I don't know why not it just isn't my thing! Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite (Report) Reply

    Glenn Frederick Baker (5/14/2016 3:31:00 AM)

    Like Guinness it's an acquired taste.

  • Allison Helman (4/17/2012 9:22:00 AM)

    I had French teacher in high school who wrote this poem on the board and had us together translate it into standard English line by line. His point was that even though French might appear just as incomprehensible, there are always clues i.e. where is the noun in this sentence? Does brillig have a root you might recognize in English? etc.
    While not my favorite Carroll work, it can be inferred to be about vanquishing some monster and by writing it for children in a sort of jibberish suggesting our fears are unfounded; it is not much of a monster at all much like some big people can seem. Alice herself was called a monster in Wonderland and many children get called this at some point as well but, Alice was smart enough to know she is not and later in Through The Looking- Glass she is shaking then waking. Just a soft, sweet kitten. I guess it all depends upon your personal psychological milieu. Callooh! Callay! (Report) Reply

  • Paul Brookes Paul Brookes (4/17/2012 3:20:00 AM)

    Ahhhh back to childhood. Brilliant I still love it as much as the first time it was read to me. Just a funny poem then, now however far more reaching. I thank Mr Straw for his insights and he has given me food for thought. (Report) Reply

  • Jessica Mcquistan (2/24/2012 12:46:00 PM)

    most wonderful poem in the world. it definately has to be one of my favorites (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw Kevin Straw (4/17/2011 11:56:00 AM)

    I did not say 'brillig' meant brilliant, I said that it was like brilliant - Carroll takes his meaning from verbal similarities in order to create a synthetic word that has no precise meaning. The fun of this poem is that tantalisingly it almost makes sense. If someone from Chaucer's time spoke to us (given that we did not know middle English) we would have the same feeling of understanding and not understanding. If people would concentrate on the poem and not try to score points off others, this site would be both more civilised and more edifying. (Report) Reply

    Glenn Frederick Baker (5/14/2016 3:33:00 AM)

    Excellent explanation.

  • 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

  • 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










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