Life Is A Dream

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A Note by Unsuk Chin:
Alice Acrostic
Lewis Carroll wrote this poem as a conclusion for his two Alice stories. It is an acrostic in which, reading down, the first letters of each line spell out the name Alice Pleasance Liddell, the girl who inspired the Alice stories. In this poem Carroll recalls, nine years after the event, the boating trip on the River Thames on 4 July 1862, during which he made up and first told some of the Alice adventures to the three Liddell sisters. In the last line of this acrostic, ‘Life, what is it but a dream?’, Carroll was probably making reference to the anonymous canon that even then was popular in England:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

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