The Walrus and the Carpenter

The Walrus and the Carpenter is a narrative poem recited by Tweedeldum and Tweedledee in Lewis Carroll’s classic book Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). The story of the two titular characters’ devious encounter with the school of ill-fated oysters has been the subject of wide-ranging interpretation, inspiring creative thinkers for decades in fields such as film (Kevin Smith’s Dogma), television (SyFy’s miniseries Alice), and music (The Beatles’ I am the Walrus).

Though there is no consensus on the symbolic meaning of the poem, or even whether it is intended to mean anything at all—it has been labeled everything from deeply political or religious in nature, to simply a “beloved nonsense poem”—any child can attest to its imaginative richness, so characteristic of Carroll’s writing.

This piece was commissioned by Sospiro new music vocal ensemble and the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.

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