Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Lewis Carroll Scholar

One afternoon under golden sun,
I took a stroll through Regent Park
and, with the term of lectures done,
I stepped spry, feeling free as a lark.
I had in mind my leisure to take
and wandered down to Boating Lake.

At the water's edge upon the grass,
sat a well-dressed enchanting girl
who was reading Through the Looking-Glass
and I could see her brow begin to furl.
"Dear child," said I, "do you understand
what you are reading of Looking-Glass Land?"

She looked up towards me with a grin
and said, "I understand most every word
and the story is interesting, but then again
Alice's adventures seem quite absurd."
"Please," she continued with an eager look,
"explain, if you can, the meaning of this book."

And then I, being a tenured Oxford don
who had studied this author for thirty years,
straightened up tall like a true paragon
who is rightly admired by all his peers.
I opened my mouth to impart the teaching
for which this young girl was beseeching.

Yet the words I spoke were not what I intended
and they poured forth quite in spite of myself:
"Twas brillig, and the slithy wended
did gyre and gimble in the welf!"
At this, the immensity of my surprise
did not surpass the same in that girl's eyes.

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