Clever Sayings and Witty Songs
I have begun my hobbit journey in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastic world. Last week I read The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, and this week I am beginning The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Pleasantly placed throughout these books are delightful poems, which consequently have inspired me to write a bit myself.
The poem above is the first of many I shall encounter in The Fellowship of the Rings. I have seen all the movies of course, numerous times, and decided it was time to read the books. You see, I am often inspired after watching the films to then read the original literature. Perhaps you find that backwards, but in today’s culture I find it practical. There are so many thousands of great books to choose from, and finding trial and error an insufficient method, I have decided that watching the films could be a faster way to decide which books I might be interested in reading. (Which has been the case with Jane Austen’s novels, Harry Potter, Eat Pray Love, Jane Eyre, and now The Lord of the Rings, just to name a few.)
In the “Middle-Earth,” as Tolkien’s fantasy world calls it, everyone seems to appreciate clever sayings and witty songs. Appropriately enough, I do too! In The Hobbit, Bilbo and Gollum have a match of wits, which captivated me into suspense. But what I love about these pieces, other than their originality, is how Tolkien created such depth in the plot and characters. I also appreciate the philology, religion, fairy tales, and Germanic mythology that were combined to inspire the author’s words.
“The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like ‘religion’, to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.” (J.R.R. Tolkien)
For many years after high school, all I read was non-fiction. I was in a sort of “spiritual focus” and believed it unprofitable to read anything that was made up. But over the years I have a growing appreciation for fictional works, unveiling a beautiful story within my imagination. I am a “type A” personality; I like numbers and straight lines. But as time goes on, I am learning to enjoy a wider variety of the arts.
One factor I always seek in a written piece is something I can relate to. Whether that is a characteristic I hope to acquire, a personality I see in myself, or an experience I look to learn from. For example, in Jane Austen’s novels I greatly appreciate the witty and beautiful language, the modesty and propriety, and the strong female characters. In The Hobbit I can relate with Bilbo’s great concern for mealtimes, his fundamental “home body” personality, love of having house guests, and his bravery to step outside of his comfort zone and adventure out into unknown lands.
So I started this little poem like eight months ago, but I was inspired by Tolkien to finish it this afternoon. I hope that you enjoy it, and can relate to it in some way.
There remains a tragedy yet to be told, Of one who is unable to find their fate;
Exploring every type of clay that forms a mold, The longing voyager searches for the gate.
With opportunities overflowing at mass, Examining them all with thought and care;
Then finding one she discovers at last, Opening the door for it only to be bare.
On and on the search presses forward, Losing hope only to gain it back again;
Reminded that the journey is the reward, Reminiscing of adventures when it first began.
Each rising year brings new paths to explore, Some straight, some windy, some up and down;
Searching for fate is a long journey to be sure, Its worth is immeasurable with peace to abound.
One day she will know on which path to go, It will be plain as day and hidden no longer;
This voyager will know destiny high and low, Embracing its will only makes her stronger.