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.

103 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 🙂

  5. Whoa, that was an incredible play with words!! I remember reading the original poem and being completely in awe of the writing. This would fit right in that world; it’s novel and creative!

          1. My brother-in-law has asked me more than once why I apologize all the time. I think it’s because I grew up in the USA (he grew up in Russia) 🤷‍♂️

  6. I remember the first time I had read this poem, I was so confused and startled by all the new words. It was hilarious to me. But slowly it started making a little more sense and I loved your word play. Such creativity! 🤩

    1. Shruba,

      Yes, it makes infinitely more sense if you’ve read Alice in Wonderland and/or are familiar with the original poem 😀

      Otherwise it really does just seem like I’m on drugs!


      David

      1. Exactly haha. I had read Alice as a child and back then there were large chunks of it that i didn’t understand but in my hurry to know the story I just rushed forward ignoring what didn’t seem to make sense to me. Just like I used to do with big words, skim it and leave it. Bad habit lol. But when I reread it again as a high school student, it was a bizarre experience. 💜

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s