Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday's Poetry: "Jabberwocky"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Last night I had the opportunity to watch the Tim Burton version of Alice In Wonderland on television here in the Land of the Rising Sun.  I had seen the movie in a Phoenix theatre last year when it first came out and enjoyed it then - and much to my surprise and pleasure, I found it even more entertaining with the second viewing.

Johnny Depp, of course, is amazing in most of the roles he tackles - from an adolescent with hedge clippers for hands to a pirate with way too much eye-liner.  Depp is an actor who is not afraid to put himself "out there," and his work with Tim Burton over the years has always been brilliant.  Depp is definitely at his quirky best as the Mad Hatter.  The other standout performance in this updated retelling of the Louis Carroll classic is Helena Bonham Carter portraying the bungling and delightfully evil Red Queen.

There is one scene in the movie where the Mad Hatter begins quoting from Jabberwocky, in an almost incidental manner.  He is so relaxed in his brief rendition, that the words almost seem to make sense.   Depp, like Lewis Carroll, has a good ear for sound, rhyme, and meter.

Jabberwocky is another poem that I first encountered in a high school literature class.  It is from Lewis Carroll's other book about Alice entitled Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There.  Enjoy!

by 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 wiffling 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!
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. 

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