"Jabberwocky" 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 whiffling 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.
Through the Looking-Glass (1871) | Lewis Carroll (1832–1898)

Online Poetry Anthology

  • Copy the poem into a copybook.
  • Use Drawing and Writing paper to add one or two lines from the poem along with a corresponding illustration.
  • Narrate the poem, describing to someone else what is happening.
  • “Jabberwocky” makes extensive use of portmanteau — a literary device where two words are combined into one. Common examples of portmanteau words include:
    • motor+hotel=motel
    • web+log=blog
    • situation+comedy=sitcom

    Identify the portmanteau words in “Jabberwocky.”

  • Try to create your own portmanteau words by combining two words into one.
  • Use this poem as a model to write one stanza of your own in a similar manner.

Additional Resources

An explanation with examples of this literary device.

Creative Writing with the Jabberwocky
Lesson plan from BrightHubEducation.com.

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