A Little Jabberwocky, Perhaps?

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 whiffing 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 Jaberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves
Did grye and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

I know Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, by heart. So does my sister. I do because I had to memorize it in 10th grade. My sister does because I had to memorize it in 10th grade — and she heard me, day after day after day.

Several years ago, I took the opportunity to re-read Jabberwocky , and it seemed to be more than just a fairytale about a mystical creature living in the tulgey wood. It seemed a life lesson…watch out, be careful, there are some big scary things out there, but if you handle it right, you’ll come out on the other side just fine.

This mixed media piece is about that, and about my dad, who taught my sister and I both to: Study hard, be smart. Weigh the pros and cons of your decisions. Stand on your own two feet. Hard work is a key to success. Dream big. Love what you love with passion. When you fall of a horse, get right back on. Laugh a lot and often…and you’ll come out on the other side just fine.

This is for him.

(Jabberwocky, mixed media collage, ©2007, (4) 6×8 panels; a rendition of Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life, hand-painted paper, watercolor and acrylic paints, image transfers, inked illustrations, photographic silhouettes, silver charms, silver leaf paint, tissue paper, handmade paper, rubber stamps, laser prints, color copies, colored pencils.)

12 thoughts on “A Little Jabberwocky, Perhaps?

Add yours

  1. Amazing post.
    Your art work is fabulous as shown here, but I can only imagine how dazzling it is in person, with the textures and colors.
    I’m taking a seminar on WordPlay, and my presentation is going to be on —
    wait for it —
    And all the word play in Through the Looking Glass. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has her on active adventures; once she goes through the looking glass, it’s all about words.
    Jabberwocky is full of portmanteau words (two meanings smooshed into one word), which Carroll seems to have originated. From there it’s just a short step to brunch and laundromat and smog and jeggings!
    What hath Carroll wrought?

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