Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Popcorn Review: Rhyme? and Reason? by Lewis Carroll

 I noticed this book at the college library [mostly because Carroll's section is right above Conan Doyle's]. And I thought I'd give it a go since I've love Carroll's poems in his Alice series.

I will have to say my favorite is probably the first. Phantasmagoria is a lot of fun and hilarious. A ghost appears to the owner of the house the ghost has been assigned to haunt. The poem is the long conversation the two have. Most of it is the ghost telling the owner all about being a ghost and his life history. [So I *might* have written a short story inspired by this Phantasmagoria, and if you want to read it, email me.]

Some of the poems were done in parodies. Like Hiawatha's Photographing was done to the meter of The Song of Hiawatha. I'm sure that would've been amusing if I remembered what I read of the original in high school. But I don't. The poem itself was amusing though.

The Lang Coortin' is hilarious, most especially for it's dialect. It took me a bit to understand some of it, but after awhile I could hear it.

One of my other favorites would definitely be A Valentine! It's not what you think, and it's shorter than half of the other poems. Just go read it! It's hilarious and so true. 

This collection also contains The Hunting of the Snark, which I've read before. It's really good and hardly makes any sense [but what would you expect?]. I rather love it's preface. Especially the bit when Carroll complains that many people mispronounce the words to his Jabberwocky ["Such is Human Perversity."]. As a fantasy writer, I definitely relate. He also has a lovely paragraph in there about portmanteaus.

A Game of Fives is funny and makes me think of what must've been going through Mrs. Bennet's mind in Jane Austen's P&P. 

I also loved Poeta Fit, Non Nascitur. Someone tells a younger person how to write poems properly. Quite good advice in there.  

"Next, when you are describing 
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things
With a sort of mental squint."

Have you read any of Carroll's work outside of Alice in Wonderland?


  1. I haven't read any non-Alice work, but this book looks really good! I might have to check it out :)

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. It's a lot of fun! Some of the poems are long? But they're hilarious, so it's worth it. :)

  2. Okay so now I feel REALLY DUMB but I didn't even know Lewis Carroll had written other stuff?!? I'm going to go bury myself in Wonderland now because I'm deluded.😂 Hehe, but now I want to check them out so YAY for that!!

    1. I only knew because I'd heard someone mention the hunting if the snark once. But I always had a difficult time finding any of his other works. They are so much fun though! I hope you like them. :)

  3. I need to expand my horizons, I too have only read Wonderland.

    1. Oh, I think you would like his other works! Particularly Phantasmagoria and A Valentine. :D


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