Featured Panwriter – A “Through the Looking Glass” Essay


You Don’t See That Every Day

Written by Panorama resident, Verl Rogers. January 2016

After Alice went through the looking glass, she met Humpty Dumpty, and asked him kindly to tell her the meaning of the poem Jabberwocky.

Let’s hear it,” said Humpty Dumpty.  “I can explain all the poems that ever were invented – and a good many that haven’t been invented just yet.”


Alice repeated the first verse. 


‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe ;

All mimsy were the borogroves.

And the mome raths outgrabe


Humpty Dumpty then told Alice that Brillig meant four o’clock in the afternoon,

Slithy  means lithe and slimy, that Toves are something like badgers, something like lizards, and they’re something like corkscrews.  Humpty added, Toves make their nests under sundials – also they live on cheese.


To Gyre, Humpty went on, is to go round and round like a gyroscope, to Gimble is to make holes like a gimlet, The Wabe is the grass plot around a sundial, because it goes a long way be-fore it,  and a long way be-hind it, and a long way be-yond it on each side. He continued, Mimsy  is flimsy and miserable.  A Borogrove  is a thin shabby-looking bird with its feathers sticking out around like a mop.


 Humpty Dumpty told Alice that a he was not sure about Mome Raths.   The Rath were green pigs,  but Humpty Dumpty offered a shaky opinion that Mome meant that they’d lost their way from home.


His last opinion, or maybe it was a fact – Humpty Dumpty was always certain – uttered the truth that Outgribing is something between bellowing and whistling,  with a kind of sneeze in the middle.  “When you hear it down in the wood yonder, you’ll be quite content.”


 Something  Alice never interpreted was how she got through the looking glass, into the house of mirror images.  She said to her kitty, “Let’s pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get through.”  The book goes on to  say she went through the mirror, but hardly knew how  she got there.


I conclude that Humpty Dumpty is a  unique person; a talking egg, one wearing a shirt collar and cravat, sitting on a wall, in danger of falling. 


Because Alice found him in the House of the Looking-Glass, his left hand is his right and everything else about him is also a mirror image.   You have to take the distortion into your mind when you deal with the little fellow.


More, you would have to follow Alice’s lead; you must go through the looking-glass to find him!  You don’t see Humpty Dumpty every day!

– Verl Rogers

Verl Rogers has recently published some of his essays in an e-book, which you can purchase for $2 here or here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *