Posted in Poems

14: The Jabberwocky

‘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 awhile 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, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O 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.

This poem was made by Lewis Carroll for his novel, Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. It has many gibberish words that cannot be found in the English dictionary, but still give off a hint of English-ness. I find this poem very intriguing and relaxing, even though I cannot understand much of the words used.

However, this time I took the liberty of finding out what the words meant, and here’s some of them:

Brillig – means 4:00 pm, around the time when people broil food for dinner. Brillig can be derived from the verb “broil”.

Slithy – a mix of “lithe” and “slimy”.

Manxome – possibly “fearsome”.

Frumious – a mix of “fuming” and “furious”.

I used to think that Carroll just pulled these words out of thin air, but apparently most of them do have real meanings. Sometimes, things that appear nonsensical at first glance apparently have deeper meanings, all you have to do is look into it a little more. This is your manxome blogger The EnglishRazor, taking a short break.

 

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With my pen, the world sits in the palm of my hand.

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