Friday, January 7, 2011

Adrian Reviews "The Jabberwocky" by Lewis Caroll

Hello again! One thing I'd like to do with this blog is post some reviews of classical poets. FallenWingz tried this in the Poets In Training group and I thought it was a lot of fun. Here's how it works -

Pick a classical poet (if you don't know of any or you just want a refresher, go HERE) Make sure nobody else has picked that person. Choose your favorite poem by that person, and review it. Break it down some. What is your view on the poem? Also, look at the poem technically. How did it flow? Did the poet send their message well?

If you have a review you'd like to do just comment here or send me a message and let me know! It might even get posted on the blog. The best way to send me a message is to sign up for a FREE All Poetry account and go to My Page.

Here's my review for "The Jabberwocky" by Lewis Caroll:

Lewis Caroll's poem about the fearsome Jabberwock and one man's battle and eventual victory over the beast has captivated readers since it was penned in 1871. I hear about this poem often, but had never read it until tonight. So, does it measure up to the hype?

When reviewing a poem such as this, there is definitely the temptation to focus solely and immediately on its absurdity. I'll get to that, but lets get some of the boring stuff out of the way first.

I thought the poem had a pretty good flow. The meter wasn't perfect, but then again, I doubt very much that Lewis Caroll cared enough about that to stay hunched over his work long into the night just to make sure each corresponding line from every stanza had an identical syllable count.

The length of the piece is just about perfect. Were it much shorter, it would have been pointless silliness, which isn't always a bad thing, but in this case, would have made the poem far less impactful. Also, it would have been incredibly easy to keep droning on and on, making The Jabberwocky a two hundred line train wreck. It's a mistake that I would have likely made. Thankfully, Lewis Caroll was capable of showing more restraint than I could have.

It's a bit strange to me, really. Even though there are unexplained, nonsensical words and names all throughout this poem, I never really felt lost. Caroll was such a brilliant wordsmith that I still got a beautiful picture of the scenes and story portrayed in the poem. His hand-crafted words helped to create a very unique feel.

Another thing that stands out in my mind is Caroll's use of wildly imaginative descriptors. Even though most of the words themselves went far over my head, they were crafted in such a way that I still understood fully the goings on in every scene. I'm amazed that a poet can keep from losing me in a poem where something burbles as it whiffles through the tulgey wood.

Does The Jabberwocky meet the hype? Absolutely. Lewis Caroll's off the wall delivery and quirky style lend themselves well to creating this strange little masterpiece that I'll enjoy reading (in slight bewilderment) again and again.

- You guys don't have to go all crazy like I did. I just really like this poem and I'm a big nerd :P Just send your thoughts on a poem and it might end up here on the blog!


1 comment:

  1. Hi adrian you have really out done yourself with this classic poem, to be honest i have never even heard of this poem until you had done this review..amazing how much you have put into this topic i created on the group..
    i hope more young ones would follow in your footsteps and get there onw poem up and reviewed..
    welldone again, you are a great spirit to have a round..