Chutzpah, or: Vorpal

A sequel to ‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll

Past twestif, all the nochky kreets
      Did stwirk and smiggle in the glood:
All thungry were the zilligeets,
      And the narvips twitwoo’d.

“Acquire that Wocky’s head, I must-
      Those jaws that bit- from he who fought!
Acquire its head, upending trust,
      As none were there to see it caught!” 

With gobsack slung upon his back,
      And sparing innish lad no thought
Who “Callay!” murmured in his dreams,
       Grim trophy found that he had sought.

And, as thrilated there he stood,
      The groary sire, of same surname,
Came ‘pon him in dishmardened room,
      Exhuffling as he came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
Fool thief fell dead, and then his head
      Fell ‘pon his fuffed gobsack.

“My boy was he who slew the ‘wock!
      He’s earned the Queen of Heart’s reward!
Arrogous crook! Gitfoo! Gitfook!”
      Leaned, spent, upon the bloory sword.

Past twestif, all the nochky kreets
      Did stwirk and smiggle in the glood:
All thungry were the zilligeets,
      And the narvips twitwoo’d.

d’Verse

For this month’s d’Verse ‘open link’, I am sharing a nonsense poem that I wrote some six months ago.

I couldn’t tell you what what possessed me to write this, exactly, but I had been playing with words and meanings in poetry, trying to find my voice… and that day, I found myself reciting the original ‘Jabberwocky’ poem to myself, wondering if I too couldn’t tell a story with my very own nonsense words.

It was harder than I’d expected to “find” words that both sounded good and carried their intended meanings well enough.

Anyway, the poem above was my result.


The original ‘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.

82 thoughts on “Chutzpah, or: Vorpal”

  1. I share your affinity for nonsense words. Jabberwocky is a poem I re-read time and again, and yours is equally clever. I admire your wordsmithing a great deal, my friend!!

  2. This is absolutely FANTASTIC, David!💝 I love; “Past twestif, all the nochky kreets/Did stwirk and smiggle in the glood.” You should be very proud of yourself and this poem 😀

  3. So much fun, David! I used to be able to recite Jabberwocky. The first stanza sounded like Yiddish to me (nochky kreets–some kind of food 😀), and I’m imagining Billy Crystal reciting this.

  4. An ambitious project to write a sequel to the Jabberwocky. Your poem is a fun continuation of Lewis Carroll’s. Those nonsense words not only sound neat, they are also neat descriptors. Well crafted 🙂

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