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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 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 hast 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 is in the public domain.




Lewis Carroll (1832 - 1898) started life as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. A preacher's son, he began writing poetry as a child, which he published in homemade newspapers. Despite a stammer (he called it "a hesitation") which plagued him throughout his life, Lewis was a popular public speaker, as well as a gifted mathematician and photographer. Writing was his true calling, though, and he published at least a dozen literary works and another dozen mathematical works which brought him great fame and fortune. Lewis loved word play and logic; many of his works include fun, nonsensical, or fantasy elements.

Post New Comment:
I use to read this often to my children from a book with a very eerie picture of the Jabberwocky. The three of them still have this poem engraved in their minds. When Lewis Carroll was introduced to my daughter's elementary class, she was able to stand and recite the complete poem. It made a grand impression! Wish I had been there. It's engraved in my mind also!
Posted 03/09/2011 12:56 AM
love to use this poem in class. It's great for teaching sound in poetry. I use this and two or three others for reader's theater. It's also great for syntax and vocabulary in context. In reverse, it can show teachers that just because students can answer objective test questions about a reading doesn't mean they comprehend. Q: where did they gyre and gimble? A: In the wabe. Q: Can you explain please? A: (blank stare)
Posted 02/27/2011 03:58 PM
I was going to say that the "frumious Bandersnatch" is alive and well in our house. He is the cause of much mischief and mayhem. We love him and Lewis Carroll for inventing him in the first place! Thanks, Jayne, for this joyful poem!
Posted 02/18/2011 09:12 AM
"...frumious Bandersnatch—such a delight in the mouth! I've been known to refer to a day as being frabjous. Good one, Jayne.
Posted 02/18/2011 04:12 AM

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