My Mum and Dad only had Primary School education, I’m not quite sure why that was, But I remember both parents talking about School Readers, a book which contained poems and short stories.
They seem to have fallen out of use in the 70s, I also remember readers from when I was a kid, but they mostly went unused as far as I could remember, and were simply left for us to read at leisure.
My Parents could recall bits of poems, but not as much as they would have liked to, with Dad, it was the one about Daffodils, with Mum, The Bellbirds.
My older Sister knew a few snatches of poetry too.
I, the heretic, had not learnt a single poem, and recently I decided to fix this by learning “Jabberwocky”.
Learning it, I found, was easier once I got a hold of what was going through the characters minds.
The first verse tells you what the place was like, with its mimsy Borogroves and so on.
The Second is the Father telling his Son about the dangers of the forest, but are the creatures really dangerous as we suppose, or does the Father simply not like the animals… maybe he’s just off his rocker?
In the third, the Son goes off with his sword to slay the Jabberwock, and he does, seemingly all too easily, Snicker Snack, it’s over.
In the fourth The Father watches his Son come towards him, but isn’t sure it’s him, is he short sighted?
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?”
The Son comes closer, and the Father realises that is indeed the case, and is over joyed that his Son had the balls to go out there and face this creature alone.
But this, the last verse… interestingly it’s a repeat of the first verse, and I wondered about that.
It seems to me, that despite the Son being all macho and slaying this thing, whatever it was, that nothing had really changed at all, so the whole affair was pointless.