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Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:59 pm
by marbretherese
Sorry, I should have made myself clearer !

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:20 pm
by Iolanthe
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!

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:35 am
by marbretherese
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.

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:32 pm
by Merry
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.

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:12 pm
by Iolanthe
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.