April 23, 2013

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

We're still in Washington, reminiscing about son number three's adventures representing his home state at the national poetry competition.  A big thrill was that one of the judges was Garrison Keillor.  A thrill and yet, more than a little intimidating as well!  Our family listens to Writers Almanac faithfully, as well as Prairie Home Companion.  I snicker every time I see a bumper crop of tomatoes and think of his 'tomato relief' observation in Lake Wobegon! But to all of a sudden be up on stage, lights and attention all on you, knowing that Garrison Keillor is listening and critiquing every word, every line, every nuanced phrase...I don't know how my son did it!  I am pretty sure my knees would have been knocking.
The judges' row
Getting ready to recite....

Can you say INTIMIDATING?!
During their free time, my husband and son were privileged to tour the White House with the other students and chaperones, and  visit the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well.  They also hunted on their own to get a shot of a particular monument, but that's a story for another day.  I'll let you guess which monument THEY HAD TROUBLE FINDING, but here's a hint...take a look at the picture they shot of the hotel pool and look for the tallest thing in the distance....
And for today's recitation pleasure, here is the tongue twister that seemed to be the most popular poem that year at the contest.  Trying saying it out loud ten times real fast....in front of Garrison Keillor!


By Lewis Caroll

’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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