Jeremy Osner sent me a nonsense poem by Ogden Nash, “Geddondillo,” that he’d run across on Kiyo’s bilingual (English and Japanese) Mythos and Poetry site; the actual Nash page at the site is oddly laid out and the Japanese characters don’t render properly, but for some reason the Google cache looks great. The poem itself is only three stanzas (I’ll put it below), but Kiyo’s annotations are well worth perusing.

While googling for references to Nash’s poem, I ran across an amazing find: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition online, complete and gratis! (In the words of the Library of Congress: “This edition combines the notes of Gardner’s 1960 The annotated Alice with his 1990 update, More annotated Alice, as well as additional discoveries and updates drawn from Gardner’s encyclopedic knowledge of the texts.”) Anyone who loves both the Alice books and Gardner’s idiosyncratic, wide-ranging annotations will be as glad of this as I am.


The sharrot scudders nights in the quastron now,
The dorlim slinks undeceded in the grost,
Appetency lights the corb of the guzzard now,
The ancient beveldric is otley lost.

Treduty flees like a darbit along the drace now,
Collody lollops belutedly over the slawn.
The bloodbound bitterlitch bays the ostrous moon now,
For yesterday’s bayable majicity is flunkly gone.

Make way, make way, the preluge is scarly nonce now,
Make way, I say, the gronderous Demiburge comes,
His blidless veins shall ye joicily rejugulate now,
And gollify him from ‘twixt his protecherous gums.

  —Ogden Nash

Update (August 2015): The Alice site is dead (unsurprisingly); the text of the Nash poem has been corrected thanks to Steve Zaslaw in the comments.

Update (December 2019). I have updated the links via the invaluable Wayback Machine, and I thought while I was at it I’d provide the first few annotations from Kiyo’s page:

1 gedondillo. Composite noun made up of “armadillo” and “armageddon”.
2 sharrot. A flying creature presumably consisting of part shark, par parrot.
3 scudders. Flight motion combining both the “scud” and “flutter” at once, perhaps.
4 As to what or where quastron might be, I can only speculate. The “quasillum” in Latin is a small basket, while “alabastron” is a small Greek vase or ampule often made of alabaster. Combining the two may suggest a “small bird-cage” of some kind.


  1. Re: Annotated Alice — that’s fantastic, but can it really be legal?

  2. I think the problem with the layout is the page encoding. For example, in Firefox if you go to “View” -> “Character Encoding” -> “Japanese (Shift_JIS)” then it looks the same as the Google cache.

  3. Right you are!

  4. Re: sbutler: Exactly. The page identifies its encoding as “SJIS”, a non-standard abbreviation that IE and Google recognize (and that Google translates to “Shift_JIS”, the preferred MIME name) but that Gecko-based browsers do not. The poor layout is because when the Shift_JIS is interpreted as ISO-8859-1 (the Gecko-based-browser default), there are some long nonwrappable strings characters on the Japanese side, so the English side gets made super-narrow to compensate.

  5. I actually have a hard copy of The Annotated Alice — just bought it on Amazon a few months ago. I have to say I was disappointed. Some of the notes are interesting, but a lot of them seem to be, “Reader So-and-So wrote in to tell me this or that factoid, and to point out this other thing that sort of relates to something that touches upon Alice.” The layout is weird, too — some of the notes are so long they extend well into the following pages, so that the subsequent notes aren’t on the same page as the text they’re referencing. Meh.

  6. “The layout is weird, too ” so preserves yesterday,preserves temorrer, and no jam today.

  7. Steve Zaslaw says

    In the line “For yesterday’s bayable majicity is flunky gone” the word should be flunkly. It’s got to sound like an adverb. The original is at but you need a New Yorker login to see it.

  8. Many thanks, I’ve corrected the text accordingly.

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