Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Walrus and The Carpenter

The Walrus and The Carpenter by Lewis Carrol

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue."
After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said.
"Do you admire the view?

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

When I was in lower school, our school had an "Alice in Wonderland Day" for the 4th graders. It was something that was done every year, and when I entered the 4th grade, it was one of the things I looked forward to most. There were months of planning; "roles" to be assigned, costumes to be made, poems to be memorized, etc. And when the big day came, I arrived at school with my, suspenders, bow tie and twirly hat to play my part as "Tweedle-Dee." Or maybe I was "Tweedle-Dum." I really don't remember, nor do I remember if we were actually assigned these roles or if I chose to be one half of the bumbling duo. Knowing me as a child, it was probably my choice. In any case, pretty much the only thing I remember about that day was having to recite this poem in front of my whole class, our teachers and all our parents. Had I known that public speaking was going to be part of this Tweedle job, I surely would have passed. But I managed to spit it out, and I've remembered this poem almost verbatim ever since. I even recite it to myself when I'm feeling blue. And tonight, I'm feeling blue. It hasn't cured my blues completely, but it definitely took my mind off of them for a few minutes. So next time you find yourself feeling a little down, let The Walrus and The Carpenter cheer you up.

1. Mexicali cerveza.
2. A gift of home grown lettuce, fresh from a garden.
3. Feeling passionate about anything at all, be it a book, a band, or preferably, a person.
4. Blind Pilot. Especially the Blind Pilot station on Pandora.
5. Cheese. Can you ever be too thankful for cheese?


  1. They ate them? Annie that is so sad...no wonder you were feeling blue!

  2. 1. i remember having to memorize this poem!
    2. i feel like there was no assigned roles, at least there werent 5 years later when I was in 4th grade, so im pretty sure you just dressed up on your own
    3. i still remember almost all of this poem and find myself reciting it in my head from time to time :)

    - leah!