Wednesday 2 January 2013

'Twas brillig...

''Twas brillig', an illustration by JVL for Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, Artists' Choice edition, 2011.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Here is a translation of the verse, which I worked out before illustrating the passage. It is based on helpful information provided by Humpty Dumpty in the story itself and by Lewis Carroll elsewhere.

It was time for broiling dinner at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and the smooth and slimy, lizard-like badgers (with corkscrew noses and tails) scratched like dogs and screwed out holes into a rain-soaked hillside beneath a sundial. The wingless, thin and shabby, mop-like parrots (with their turned-up beaks, with feathers sticking out all round and who had made their nests under a sundial) were most miserable and flimsy. And the green pigs, that had lost their way, made a kind of a sneezing noise in between their bellowing and whistling.

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