Posts Tagged ‘nonsense verse’

Tai Chi in the Jabberwocky Maze

July 8, 2010
Tai Chi in the Jabberwocky Maze

Tai Chi in the Jabberwocky Maze

“Few would dispute that Jabberwocky is the greatest of all nonsense poems in English.” — Martin Gardner

“Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas – only I don’t exactly know what they are.” — Alice

“Poor, poor, little Alice! She has not only been caught and made to do lessons; she has been forced to inflict lessons on others.” — G K Chesterton

`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, has 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.

— Lewis Carroll

The Jabberwocky was written by Lewis Carroll to mock pedants. The irony is that this nonsense verse has become much studied by pedants. It was originally featured as a part of his novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1872). Lewis Carroll lived in Guildford with his sisters and travelled to Oxford on the train.

The Jabberwocky Maze is located in Allen House Gardens in Guildford. These tranquil gardens are a hidden gem in Guildford.

I was there early evening passing time before I went to a talk on the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Whilst I was there a church youth group was participating in a surreal game of Find the Leader. A lady painting, only she wasn’t. A man gardening, only he wasn’t. A young lad gardening, only he wasn’t. Tai Chi in the Jabberwocky Maze, only it wasn’t, when actually it was. Somewhat appropriate I thought in the surreal world of Alice.

I stumbled upon Allen House Gardens whilst looking for Eden People who meet in the Allen House Pavilion located in the gardens. I have yet to find them in situ. I did though find the Allen House Pavilion left unlocked. I locked it and left as my calling card a copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. My good deed done for the day!

Within Allen House Gardens is the entrance to a ‘secret’ WWII underground bunker built to protect the select few during WWII.

Synchronicity: Earlier in the day I had travelled to Guildford by train with a friend. On arrival we walked along the River Wey where I showed him on the river bank Alice reading with her sister and a rabbit disappearing down a rabbit hole. We then walked up the High Street to the farmers market (first Tuesday of the month) and went our separate ways. Alice and the rabbit were alongside where I was going that evening for a talk on The History of the Pilgrimage to Compostela. From where I was sitting I could see Alice and the rabbit.

Of course as we are all well aware, Alice novels are not fiction at all but encoded reports detailing the existence of another plane of reality! Hints of which we glimpse through examples of synchronicity!

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