Lewis Carroll’s JABBERWOCKY



Talking about poetry—must mention Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky.

The greatest nonsense poem in the English language

The words create a discernible narrative structure, but we don’t know what they symbolize because standard syntax and poetic form is combined with linguistic ambiguity. Hey, is that like Cowboy Talk?

“It seems pretty but it’s hard to understand. Somehow it fills my head with ideas—only I don’t know exactly what they are,” says Alice.

Jabberwocky
 
‘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.

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Published in: on February 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm  Comments (3)  
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COWBOY TALK VERSION OF THE SLAM MASTER


Boulder’s Naropa University has me buffaloed.  The Naropian slam masters had never encountered Western Fiction or the Cowboy Poets.  I’m not a poet, but I registered for slam master Bob Holman’s class.  The New Yorker has dubbed Holman “The Ringmaster of the Spoken Word.”   He had us translating and slamming poetry written in dead and dying languages into contemporary English.  

They knew nothing of Cowboy Talk, an endangered language barely hanging on here in the West.  As an effort in preservation, I translated one of the slam master’s sonnets into our Cowboy Talk.

Birthday Praise Sonnet for Marc Levin, Original by Bob Holman, 2001

Mark my words

Leven the bread

Half a century’s nothing, the Wise Man said

When the slam slams

When the blowback blows

Lights speed action rolls rolls rolls

The Party will Last

                                The Future’s simulcast

And we’ll Babble On

                                With our Icon O’Class

Mark my words

Leaven the bread

Half a century’s something, the Wise Man said

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Birthday Praise Sonnet for Marc Levin, Cowboy Talk translation, 2010 

Mark my palaver

Leaven up the bannock

Your cinch ain’t getting’ frayed, the Ol’ Hoss brayed

When the rustlers rustle

When the coulies overflow

Foot up in the stirrup and getty-up-go

The Roundup’s gonna Last

                                        Ta’morra’s comin’ Fast

And we’ll jus’ Gallop On

                                         With our Cowboy Lexicon

Quit spittin’ on ya lasso

Saddle up the Paint

Your cinch is gettin’ frayed, the Ol’ Hoss brayed                           

                                                     

 

A DEFINITION OF BOULDER, COLORADO



 

Here I am. Settled at last in Boulder,Colorado. Time to begin blogging again. Time to clarify these new surroundings. Boulder has me buffaloed. So, here are my thoughts.

 

A Definition of Boulder, Colorado

  It is a place where there’s a lot of sex going on.

A place where you can quickly cross the street after you punch the big silver button and the little white-man figure lights up. A safe crossing place. A place with too many cars. A place where everyone rides a bicycle. A place where exhaust fumes are so potent so you can’t walk along the sidewalk on Arapahoe Ave. A place of dizziness. A scary place.

    It is a place of green. Fresh green trees. Summer shade. Where noxious weeds are the battle ground, not Afganistan.

    A place where the newspaper is called a camera.

    It’s a place where the language has strange words that begin with “eco.” Ecodoggiebag. Ecoefficient. Ecogreenoffice. Ecologic. Econatural. Ecofuture. Ecohandyman, ecoarts, ecochange, ecogreen.

    A place where my dog can poop on the floor of McGuckins Hardware Store and no one gets angry. A place where I can’t shop because my dog is the attraction, not me, the customer. In this place there are many Golden Labs. Outside of this place there are horses.

    A young place. There are no old people. A place with no gray hairs, white hairs, or blue hairs. They are sent to Arizona or Florida.

    The place is terrifying. Where I worry about death by a bicycle racing along Boulder Creek Bike Path. Along the path floods rage. Soggy wet sleeping bags and undergarments lay in fearsome dark places abandoned in the mud along the Creek.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME NORSE VIKING STUFF


The Serpent Jörmungandr

No, it’s not the Ouroboros.

Yes, it is the ancient symbol of a snake swallowing its own tail.

This is from Norse mythology.  Jörmungandr is one of the three monster children of Loki who grew so large that he could encircle the world and grasp his own tail in his teeth. 

Or, as in the legends of Ragnar Lodbrok, King Herraud gives a small worm to his daughter Ƃóra Town-Hart and it grows into a large serpent, encircles her cottage, and bites itself in the tail. 

Then, Ragnar has a son who is born with the image of a white snake in on eye. The snake encircled the iris and bit itself in the tail and the son is named Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye. 

I.M. Buffaloed by what all this Viking mythology stuff means. My Norwegian grandmother never explained it. Can you tell me? 

I only know that most of the time I feel like poor Jörmungandr—devouring myself trying to write books, and market them, and do social networking all at the same time. Maybe I have a snake in my eye, like Sigurd.

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 11:20 pm  Comments (9)  
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