Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Jabberwocky for Inspiration

It's still Wednesday, but I forgot to tell of the inspiration found by accident (?) at last night's Art of Life Group. In this ongoing women's creativity group we sometimes have scheduled activities and at other times group members play with whatever supplies and projects they choose. Last night several members were feeling uninspired and needed some kind of prompt to get going. I was coming down with a cold and hence feeling a bit uninspired myself. While we were waiting for the muse to arrive, we started talking about poetry we had memorized. One member recited the entire poem, "Jabberwocky", which I include below in case, you, Dear Reader, have not memorized it.

After the lovely recitation I still felt blank, until I realized that Lewis Carroll's almost-words could serve as our muses. We had discussed how evocative his nonsense words are, and how some, like "galumph" have actually entered the official lexicon. I wrote down the words I could remember on slips of paper and then group members each drew a slip. From this we ended up with amazing pictures of "gyre and gimble", "vorpal", "borogroves' and my own contribution, "mimsy."

I am definitely going to try this exercise again. If any of you, Dear Readers, want to try it, I'd love to post your results!


Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

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.

1 comment:

gl. said...

ooo, i'm seeing an entire class based around jabberwocky!