Friday, February 22, 2008

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is becoming quite the event in the children's literature blogging community. Kelly Herold at Big A Little A is credited with generating the excitment for this often neglected area of literature and her blog is also today's host. A visit will take you to dozens of other sites where you will find a variety of perspectives on poetry today. By the way, Kelly is also one of the co-founders of the Cybils Awards which have just finished up for this year. I was thrilled to be a part of the reading panels this year. See the Cybils' widget on this page for an evolving (I assume totally random) array of submitted titles.

And I have to credit Kelly Fineman, a writer and poet who documents her journey at Writing and Ruminating with introducing me to the wonderful world of kids lit bloggers after I met her at a SCBWI meeting in Los Angeles last August. Meeting her led me to find the community of folks blogging for avid readers and supporters of children's literature and thus to the Cybils, but it also gave me the oomph I needed to start blogging myself.

So, my contribution to Poetry Friday is one of my favorites as a young reader - "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll, (1832-1898). I still love its rhythm and its invented words that sound so real because they could have been. Such is Carroll's mastery, I never suspected they weren't real until I was older and studied the poem. It still is one of my all-time favorite read-alouds.

'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 whiffiling 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.

Poetry Foundation has a good description of Poetry Friday. We're making new friends and sharing poetry. Join in the fun by checking out today's host site - Big A, Little A.


Tricia said...

Welcome to Poetry Friday! I so love this poem. I sang it in high school and can still remember the words and music. It's so much fun! Thanks for sharing this today.

Annie said...

Thanks, Tricia. I appreciated your poems this morning from Edna St.Vincent Millay. She's one of my favorite poets. How wonderful this is connecting with book lovers online.

Cloudscome said...

I memorized this poem in college and I still have it. I love it! There is something brilliant about it's wacky words and musical composition. It tells a story clear as a bell. Welcome to Friday Poetry.

Annie said...

Welcome, cloudscome. I am glad you came to visit. This is one of the rare cases where I think rote memorization offers benefits later in life. Anyone else?

jama said...

Welcome to PF, Annie! It's so nice to meet you.
Jabberwocky is one of my all-time favorite poems, too. I used to read it aloud to my English classes just to celebrate the sound of words.

Wizards Wireless @ said...

I love your blog and just added it to my blogroll. Jabberwocky is one of my all-time favorite poems... and I agree, rote memorization does work for this particular poem.

Everyone in my high school drama class had to memorize it, and then we each acted it out as a monologue. Every person assigned a different meaning to each of the nonsense words... so one version was about a hockey game, one was about a music concert, etc. It was fascinating and I still remember it all these years later.

Annie said...

Welcome to both jama and susan at wizards wireless. It's funny how you pull one memory from the attic and then others follow. Those who enjoy the music and rhythm of Jabberwocky and what it says about the value of memorization, might want to read my post today.