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Poetry Analysis Notes


by Lewis Carroll
interpreted by Brian Tai

'Twas brilling, 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
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he
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, Tow! And through and
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 cortled in his joy.

'Twas brilling, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Poet: - Real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
- Famous for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking
- Born Jan. 27, 1832
- Died Jan. 14, 1898
- The Hunting of the Snark was also quite popular

Vocabulary: Brillig - 4 o’clock in the afternoon, when you begin broiling things for
Slithy - combination of “lithe” and “slimy”
Toves - something like badgers, lizards, and corkscrews [very curious looking creature]
To Gyre - to go around like a gyroscope
To Gimble - to make holes like a Gimblet
Borogrove – thin shabby looking bird

Type of poem:
It’s a Ballad

Speaker: Guy talking to his son [me thinks]

Anyone looking for a spot ‘o nonsense, particularly for children

Tone: Comical, with touches of daring deeds, mostly for entertainment

Nothing deep - unless you're Peter and feel the need to link it somehow to the Cambodian Refugee struggle against tooth-brush factories ;) The jungle/woods/fairyland place is free of trouble, and everything is as it should be. With slithy toves, and mome raths, etc. This guy starts talking to his son, telling him to stay away from the Jabberwock(y). He says how he'll turn you into milkbone fodder, and goes onto say that it's "frumious". The boy [a teenager me thinks] being ever invincible, and probably high on something at the time, goes on a hunt for the confounded beast, and waits for him by the TumTum tree [3 Ninja's coincidence?], Then the Jabberwock(y) shows itself with flaming eyes [eyes are actually made of flames, *NOT* a metaphor], and it burbled as it came. The boy somehow killed the 'thing' and made off with its head [not very polite lad is he?]. NEwayz, he shows his dad the head, and the dad goes bonkers, and congradulates the boy for a job well done. And then the jungle/woods/fairyland place goes back to its normal state, with mome raths, and all that nonsense.

Structure of poem: - Ballad
- 7 stanzas
- 4 lines a piece
- Rhyming scheme of ABCB

Examples of poetic techniques used in the poem:

Lithe + Slimy = Slithy
"with eyes of flame"

Connection between the poem and the poet's life and/or times: No identifiable connection {n}0|\|$£???

Most memorable quote from the poem:
"The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,"

© Smelli Notes 2001