Sunday, April 03, 2011

O Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay!

About a year ago, my friend Marie commissioned me to do a papercut for her. She didn't have anything in mind at that time but she knew she wanted me to do something. Eventually she settled on something from Jabberwocky, a poem found in the Alice in Wonderland books. What she had wanted was for me to illustrate just the first stanza:

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

For some reason my listening skills were not up to snuff and I just thought she wanted me to illustrate the whole poem itself. This threw me for a loop. I had never really been into the Alice stories, although some of my best pieces have come from Lewis Carroll's mind. There's not really a description of the Jabberwocky itself, except that he has eyes of flame. So I spent the whole year fretting about what the Jabberwocky looked like and I couldn't imagine it. So last month I just sat down and got to work. Sometimes that's just what you have to do, you have to sit down and work and stop freaking out about things. And it took a while, but I finished it. I'm quite pleased with the results. Here is my papercut of the Jabberwocky, complete with toves, borogoves and mome raths:



What does the Jabberwocky look like to you? Here's the poem if you're not familiar.

`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.

10 comments:

Patty Ann said...

I think you did a totally amazing job! It looks just like my imagination!!

Margaret C said...

Gosh, I LOVE THIS !! What a gorgeous imagining !

Beth Twist said...

It. Is. Perfect. I have been a fan of the Jabberwocky for a long time, memorizing the poem (yes!) when I was 12. You translated it flawlessly.

Randel McGee said...

I also memorized the poem in high school to use in speech competitions. I painted a poster of it for high school art glass, based on Tenniel's etching. You have done a marvelous job!

Marie said...

I've forgotten what "Jabberwocky" used to look like in my head: it now looks exactly like your wonderful papercut.

Jen said...

It's so funny, I never had an image of the Jabberwocky in my head, and one day I was reading a Sisters Grimm book with a rendering of one on the cover. My husband walked in and said, "Oh, a Jabberwocky!" Beautiful work!

Melody said...

This is so amazing Cindy! I would love one of these. It's perfect for my three boys.
How much would you charge for one? What size is this one?
melody.aa@gmail.com

Sara said...

Oh my gosh! This is just beautiful, love it!

Frank said...

Quite, quite wonderful - hats off!

Alex said...

Fantastic, just what I needed to see today.