The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll remain my favourite childhood poem. It’s a poem about a Walrus and a Carpenter who trick innocent young oysters into following them and their vision, motivation, and cause- but finally eat them after a walk on the seashore. I loved the rhythm of it and the fact that it’s a sort of a cautionary tale (perfectly combined with alliteration, consonance, enjambments, and rhetorics). Like, don’t get taken by overly friendly people, you never know when they turn and feast on you, in other words – betrayal.
If you search online, the first explanation that comes out is this: “The poem also deals with the idea of cunningness in human nature […] Being wise, an older oyster understands their intention and does not join them. However, the younger oysters fall into their trap, despite the warning of their fellow oyster. On a deeper level, the poem gives a profound message, urging people not to follow leaders blindly.”
I thought of it today, not cause betrayal but cause – ah well, hormones and nostalgia; and my ability to bridge theory and practice. *smirking heavily*
“‘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.”
What I find fascinating is the fact that I had a granddad who’d read that out to make me fall asleep. Perhaps I should do that to my little one too… better make sure kiddo comes out a realist than a hopeless optimist getting disappointed at every step of life.