Gypsy's Travels

Friday, August 22, 2008

Travels with Em - "The Jabberwocky Tree"

Lewis Carroll (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

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Our ElderHostel tour to Oxford focused on literature, including the works of Lewis Carroll. It is said that his poem about the Jabberwocky was inspired by this tree. Such imagination, to turn a twisted tree into a twisted poem. The poem has been called "the greatest nonsensical poem in English." This site gives some insite into the meanings of the poem.


  1. Is that then called the "Jabberwocky Tree?" I guess is that the proper name to call it like one says this is an "oak" tree.

    It sure looks old and I don't think I have ever seen one so twisted. How old do they think it is?

  2. Good questions, Abe. I think it is properlysome sort of "plane tree." It They did call it the "Jabberwocky Tree" because it was the inspiration for the Jabberwocky. I don't know how old it is, but they can last for many years. Assuming it looked much the same to have inspired his story, and Lewis Carroll was at the College from around 1849, it must be well more than 200 years old.

    You ask good questions!

  3. that's the kind of imagination i like!


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