Poetry of J.R.R. Tolkien

Discussions about the Professor's poetic verses from Middle-earth
marbretherese
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Postby marbretherese » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:59 pm

Sorry, I should have made myself clearer !
0 x
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


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Iolanthe
Uinen
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Postby Iolanthe » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:20 pm

No worries!

This is another passage I love:

Blessed are the men of Noah's race that build
their little arks, though frail and poorly filled,
and steer through winds contrary towards a wraith,
a rumour of a harbour guessed by faith.


It's not only beautifully written (of course) but so very Tolkien. It has faith, courage in adversity, hope, the call of the sea, the small and under-equipped pitting themselves against the mighty (here the wind and sea), determination to steer against the common way, the magic of what might be, a quest and even one of his favourite old words 'wraith'... I'm sure there's even more contained in those 4 lines.

Quite amazing!
0 x
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

marbretherese
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:42 pm
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Postby marbretherese » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:35 am

It's fabulous, isn't it? I particularly like "a rumour of a harbour guessed by faith" - the imagery in those four lines is powerful yet also so subtle.
0 x
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Merry
Varda
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Location: Middle-west

Postby Merry » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:32 pm

If I'm reading this correctly, 'wraith' is used here differently. I had gotten used to the word having an evil connotation, but here it seems to mean the same thing as 'rumour', something we're not sure is entirely real.
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:12 pm

Good old Gilliver et. al. have wraith as 'an apparition or spectre' in the Ring of Words. So it doesn't have to be something evil (like the Ringwraithes) but something that seems insubstantial and spectre like. I think this is the same meaning Tolkien is going for here.
0 x
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...


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