Coming fresh from my blog post: Grandma-are-Fairies-real? on Tuesday, I came across this wonderful Journal Art this morning from my favourite art blog – all about NONSENSE … one of my favourite topics!
Here is a clearer version of what Dr Seuss says in the beginning of this quote:
I LIKE NONSENSE … it wakes up the brain … Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living …
Contrary to what we are led to believe in a lot of quarters, nonsense is not a waste of time at all, for according to Dr. Seuss, not only does it wake up the brain cells, fantasy is: A NECESSARY INGREDIENT IN LIVING ...
That’s pretty powerful stuff dear friends! Did you hear that right? FANTASY … not money-making or success or power … is the ingredient that is absolutely necessary in living one’s life. Who would have thought? But what exactly IS nonsense?
“Many poets, novelists and songwriters have used nonsense in their works, often creating entire works using it for reasons ranging from pure comic amusement or satire, to illustrating a point about language or reasoning.
In the philosophy of language and philosophy of science, nonsense is distinguished from sense or meaningfulness, and attempts have been made to come up with a coherent and consistent method of distinguishing sense from nonsense.”
Dr Seuss is not the only writer to indulge in nonsense for children (and adults love his books too). A verse called “Jabberwocky“, which is a nonsense verse found in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, is typical of this kind of thing.
Nonsense verse is the verse form of literary nonsense, a genre that can manifest in many other ways. Its best-known exponent is Edward Lear, author of The Owl and the Pussycat and hundreds of limericks. (to read this poem see my blog: rainy-days-and-mondays with the owl and the pussycat
And what about nursery rhymes? They are pure nonsense as well. There is so much nonsense around that we cannot avoid it. Think too about some TV ads: marketers would call them creative ads, but really we all know that they are pure nonsense!
Now getting back to Alice in Wonderland and the poem, Jabberwocky (itself a nonsense word), here is something interesting:
“As Alice is conversing with the White King and White Queen (chess pieces) she finds a book in seemingly unintelligible language. Realizing that she’s traveling through an inverted world, she holds a mirror to the poem and reads the reflected verse of “Jabberwocky” which to her disappointment still makes little sense.” inspiration-of-jabberwocky-dr-seuss
See if it makes any sense to any of you. It made absolutely no sense to me, but I do know that kids love it. Here is a part of the poem:
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought–
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
So what good does all this ‘gobbledy gook’ do? In fact, it creates ‘nonce’ or nonsense words in verse and it is FUN into the bargain! But … at the same time it is an excellent exercise in language, sentence structure and comprehension. And take note of this last piece as it is particularly important: children are developing vocabulary and comprehension skills.
So there! Nonsense? I don’t think so folks. But Dr Seuss doesn’t say nonsense is just for children either! If FANTASY is a necessary ingredient in living, it is necessary for all of us: children and adults alike.
Why do you think adults like Sci Fi movies or fiction books that bear no resemblance to reality? Because at times, we all need a little escapism . So dear friends do not neglect this part of your life. Just remember how important it is … it is THE necessary ingredient in living.