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Phantasmagoria and Other Poems

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  656 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
One winter night, at half-past nine, Cold, tired, and cross, and muddy, I had come home, too late to dine, And supper, with cigars and wine, Was waiting in the study. There was a strangeness in the room, And Something white and wavy Was standing near me in the gloom -- I took it for the carpet-broom Left by that careless slavey. But presently the Thing began To shiver and ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by Aegypan (first published 1869)
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Mar 29, 2016 Fernando rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leer este divertido poema de Lewis Carroll en el que un hombre es visitado en su casa por un risueño fantasma, me llevó directamente a recordar a otro famoso espíritu: a «El fantasma de Canterville», de Oscar Wilde, pero con distintos finales para cada caso. Otro punto interesante es que aprendí a conocer todas la categorías fantasmales inglesas y de otros países que existen. ¡Muy interesante!
Jun 13, 2014 Wendy rated it really liked it
Well, that was fun. This is my favorite kind of poetry--namely, anti-poetry, meta-poetry, and complete absurdity. Oh, and of course it has to rhyme!

A quick sampling of my favorites:

From The Gardener's Song, which should be labeled post-modern, surely, if it hadn't been written in the 1800s.

He thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek:
He looked again and found it was
The Middle of Next Week.
"The one thing I regret," he said,
"Is that it cannot speak!"

And the introductory paragraph of
Gabriela Peña
Es un libro para distraerse, sencillo, divertido. Creo que contiene una minita de referencias que podrían usarse a la hora de crear más historias.
Oct 28, 2015 Diana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Si toda traducción tiene una buena dosis de traición, ésta es aún mayor cuando la forma del texto original está realzada por los recursos de la métrica. Acceder a Lewis Carroll, auténtico virtuoso de la versificación inglesa, a través de una traducción implica tener que resignarse a perder en este recorrido gran parte de su atractivo original." Así es.

A lo mejor debería leerlo en inglés, pues se me ha hecho extraño su lectura en español.
May 07, 2014 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 2014
Read here:

Some quirky, fun poems that highlights Carroll's weirdness. Not all are great, the titular poem is probably the best, and the scheme may be seen as simplistic, but the whole experience is meant to be goofy and fun.

I enjoyed "A Sea Dirge" as well, just because there are many people who experience similar things in just as silly of a ways.
Shannon McDermott
Although prose is usually clearer than poetry, Lewis Carroll's poetry is clearer than his prose. This little book of poems contains what may equally be called whimsy and nonsense; it also contains humor, clever satire, and some beautiful lines ("the vision of a vanished good"). Highly recommended for anyone with a taste for poetry.
Michael X
Jul 08, 2008 Michael X rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sad little tale about a ghost who accidentally haunts the wrong house. Clever and delightful
Mark Lacy
I found this little gem at a garage sale a week before Halloween. I approached it with high hopes that synchronicity was at play. The poem "Phantasmagoria" - said to be Carroll's longest - unfortunately was more whimsical than mysterious. I got very little out of the other poems. Illustrations were interesting, but overall, I was disappointed. Understandable why this is not one of Lewis Carroll's better known works.
Nov 29, 2016 Claire rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first poem - about the ghost - is worth reading. The rest, not so much.
Phillip Goodman
a facinating collection of verse storys or story poems, not all brilliant but all interesting, nicely epic (ish) and often quite experimental, many of them are essentially meta poems, if that is a term, and if it isn't then it should be, they go out of themselves, having sections of self commentary, or containing within themselves comments on themselves.
As for the title poem itself (phantasmogoria) it is actually in my opinion not the best in it, though it may possibly be the cleverest and quit
Jan 12, 2015 Cara rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, poetry
I've been trying to get into poetry lately, and this whimsical collection seemed like as good a place as any to start. Although I still struggled with archaic language here and there, the poems are generally quite modern and humorous in tone, particularly the titular one about a little ghost sharing the woes of his job. Poeta Fit, non Nascitur is also a wonderful little meta verse, with a grandfather teaching his grandson how to write poetry, that ends on a suitably wry note:

Then proudly smiled
Dorian Driscoll
Jul 27, 2016 Dorian Driscoll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is (also) one of my favorite poems. Like The Hunting of the Snark, there is no really moral or direction; it's merely the account of a man who encounters a ghost in his house, but the poetry is beautiful and the humor, like most of Carroll's, is sharp and witty.
What is surprising is that this small book has annotations by Martin Gardner. Whenever he annotates a book, he generally triples the length of a text in the very least (not exaggerating), yet the annotations here are almost nonexiste
Natalie Pietro
May 13, 2010 Natalie Pietro rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Lewis Carroll is all ways delightful and these poems are quite good. I loved the opening short story about a friendly little ghost who came for a quick visit. Only to realize he was hunting the wrong gentalman. It was funny and witty.
Yet the other poems who quite odd and hard to understand. Yes after you pick apart all the old english you start to enjoy the words of Carroll. Only problem the story were so old it was hard to relate to them today. I was a wee bit disapointed in that fact but it wa
Dec 21, 2008 Frank rated it it was ok
I'm not a great reader of poetry but it does interest me and so I read Phantasmagoria. And here a ghost lays down the rules for ghosts residing in and people accomodating ghosts. It sets up what kinds of ghosts have priority in residents. There is no real haunting involved. It is a short read and the poetry is interesting. The story line left me a little in the ozone but if you have a little spare time and like Carroll you might enjoy his poetry in this one and even find the little ghost of inte ...more
Jan 27, 2016 E rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-books
Had to read this - Lewis Carroll shares my birthday (the 27th) so I felt I had to read something of his. I was going to reread one of the Alice books, but decided to branch out.

This was... bizarre. I'd like to say fantastically bizarre, and some of it was, but most of it was just too random to get a grip on. Honestly, I didn't enjoy it that much, which was a disappointment. Too odd for me. Not to say that other people won't enjoy it, try it yourself and see what you think.
Sep 29, 2016 Kerry added it
Shelves: poetry
"A Sea Dirge" is and excellent read for anyone who thinks the sea, with its howling waves and sopping saltiness, is overrated. And "In Size and Tears" calls out the bean-pole cockblocks of the world. But "A Game of Fives" is eye-rolling in its ageism and sexism--yes, the burden on society and the predatory sexual greed of the unwed woman over age 30 is a scourge upon humanity . . . but five of them living together in all their rebellious, spinsterish conspiracy? Horror!
Jul 05, 2016 Benja rated it really liked it
A collection of nonsensical poems and riddles by Lewis Carroll, fraught with his typical charm, wit and flair for word play, headed by the titular Phantasmagoria - in which a ghost pays a visit to a potential victim - and including such compositions as ironic shanties (A Sea Dirge), ironic romances (A Valentine, Melancholetta), the unintelligible The Lang Coortin' and some frightfully witty instructions in the art of poetry (Poeta Fit, non Nascitur).
Aug 02, 2016 L.B. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Publicado en 1869 y con ilustraciones de Arthur Burdett Frost ―puede decirse que son muy buenos―. Me recordó mucho a la poesía del libro de Alicia en el país de las maravillas y me trajo nostalgia a volver a mi infancia.

Oct 18, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, lewis-caroll
I am not very knowledgable about poetry. I did enjoy several of Lewis Carroll's poems. They seemed to run together, and it was hard to tell when one of the poems ended, and an other began. I learned something about the way his poetry was formed. He wrote about the forms of his poems in a few of the ones at the end of the book.
Dec 12, 2011 Juliette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I wasn't crazy about the poem Phantasmagoria, there were quite a few gems spread out in this book. Unfortunately, the way I read poetry and the way Kindle books are laid out do not mix. I didn't enjoy the format and wished I had read this in real book form.
Some poems were good and some were too weird, not all of them worked for me. Lewis Carroll[s poetry is definitely not to everybody's taste. My favorite poem of the bunch is, of course, the first one, 'Phatasmagoria', it's brilliant and so funny.
Oct 16, 2010 Shay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far I have finished Phantasmagoria and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I have not read any more in the book however and don't know when I will continue. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the number of books I need to read. But will finish it one day.
Nov 07, 2014 Lyuba rated it liked it
Overall I would rate this collection of poems as good. There are three among the poems that I thought were outstanding because of the humorous, satirical and slightly snobbish tone Lewis Carroll is known for - Melancholetta, A Sea Dirge and A Game of Fives.
Jan 25, 2011 Keith rated it liked it
The poem, Phantasmagora, is as good as anything else Carroll wrote. I'd give that four stars by itself. And Hiawatha's Photography was also good. However, the rest of the book does not measure up to these. If, like me, you enjoy nonsense verse, I'd still recommend this book.
Scott Whitney
A very interesting read as this is the first of Lewis Carroll's poetry that I have read. It was fun trying to figure out the meter he was working with. I would like to be able to sit and speak to a ghost for a little while also. This was a free ebook for my kindle.
Jun 28, 2010 Dullian rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
The best poem I've read. Witty, entertaining story and so fun. Lovely rhymes. Can't ask for more. My favorite.
Oct 15, 2016 Charissa rated it liked it
Phantasmagoria was my favorite verse,
About a ghost and a maybe curse.
The ghost liked duck,
The owner ran out of luck,
And I laughed and enjoyed it a lot.
Carito Cárdenas guevara
Es muy interesante leer la parte de Fantasmagoría y pensar q Lewis Carroll era realmente un matemático, me encantó ver la perspectiva de un fantasma y como debería comportarse con humanos
Lance Greenfield
Enjoyable, but a bit heavy going in places. It is the sort of book that I'd keep on my shelf and open randomly if I am in need of inspiration, or if I ever have time to have writer's block.
Daniela Pérez nava
Apr 03, 2016 Daniela Pérez nava rated it it was amazing
Very fun! I liked to learn- in a poem- all the categories of the ghost world. Now I want to know more about phantoms, specters, goblins and ghouls. I need to do more research.
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The Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer.

His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass as well as the poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky", all considered to be within the genre of literary nonsense.

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“The world is but a Thought," said he:
"The vast unfathomable sea
Is but a Notion—unto me.”
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