poetry semiotics discussion post

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Task:

1. For each of the nonsense words or portmanteaus found in the last two stanzas of “Jabberwocky” below, identify the part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, or adverb) and provide a brief (1-2 word) definition of each. Use your newfound knowledge of semiotics, inference, and connotation, as well as the context and connotation clues within the poem.

“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.

  1. Jabberwock
  2. Beamish
  3. Frabjous
  4. Brillig
  5. Slithy
  6. Toves
  7. Gyre
  8. Gimble
  9. Wabe
  10. Mimsy
  11. Borogroves
  12. Mome
  13. Raths
  14. Outgrabe

2. Then, REWRITE the two stanzas and substitute your definitions in place of the nonsense words or portmanteaus. Do they make sense to you? If not, look at your definitions and see what you can tweak until they do make sense (or at least more sense).

Post your rewritten stanzas AND your list of word definitions and parts of speech, and then respond to at least two of your peers regarding the similarities and differences of your definitions, and on the overall effect of their resulting poem.

Criteria on which you will be graded:

  • Coming up with your own interpretation/definition of the words listed above
  • While there is no one “right” interpretation/definition for each word, your two stanzas should make some sense when read aloud (although probably awkwardly and humorously)

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