jabberwocky is possibly the most acclaimed nonsense rhyme ever written in the English language. Charles Dodgson writing under his pen-name Lewis Carroll included it in his famous children’s story: Through the Looking-Glass, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and it tells of the slaying of a fearsome beast called the The Jabberwock!
The poem includes numerous ‘made up’ words, some of which have subsequently found themselves being adopted into regular use. In ‘Through the Looking Glass’, after Alice has worked out that the rhyme she found in a book in the weird world she has entered is written in ‘mirror writing’ and is then confused by the many strange words that feature in the verses, it is Humpty Dumpty who provides some explanation about the meaning of these words to Alice.
Almost as famous as the poem by Lewis Carroll is the illustration of the Jabberwock by Sir John Tenniel, a noted English illustrator, graphic humorist and political cartoonist who created all the images used in ‘Through the Looking Glass’… A copy of Tenniel’s original drawing of the great beast meeting its doom is included with the poem below: