watervole: (Default)
 I've just finished a re-read of 'Lord of the Rings'.
As I get older, I find that I appreciate different things about the books.  One of the big differences is the poetry.  I didn't use to take a lot of notice of it when I was younger - though some of it still stuck in my long-term memory.  However, now, I find that I get far more from the poetry and I'm far more aware of how Tolkien uses it.

For instance, the Rohirrim, in keeping with the cultures Tolkien based them on, use alliterative poetry with a metre very different to the bouncy  iambs that are more common in modern English.

Read it out loud and hear the way the stresses fall on the alliterative words.  Dark, dim; thane, Thengel; Mark-wardens, mist-enshrouded.

Lament for Theoden

From dark Dunharrow in the dim morning
with thane and captain rode Thengel’s son:
to Edoras he came, the ancient halls
of the Mark-wardens mist-enshrouded;
golden timbers were in gloom mantled.
Farewell he bade to his free people,
hearth and high-seat, and the hallowed places,
where long he had feasted ere the light faded.
Forth rode the king, fear behind him,
fate before him. Fealty kept he;
oaths he had taken, all fulfilled them.
Forth rode Théoden. Five nights and days
east and onward rode the Eorlingas
through Folde and Fenmarch and the Firienwood,
six thousand spears to Sunlending,
Mundburg the mighty under Mindolluin,
Sea-kings’ city in the South-kingdom
foe-beleaguered, fire-encircled.
Doom drove them on. Darkness took them,
Horse and horseman; hoofbeats afar
sank into silence: so the songs tell us.

Look at this bit:
Forth rode the king, fear behind him,
fate before him. Fealty kept he;
oaths he had taken, all fulfilled them. 

I'm not good enough at technical poetry to tell you what he's doing here (though someone on my flist may be), but the first two lines drive at you with each 'F' word, then the rhythm becomes slower and more sombre to make you feel the weight of those oaths and what their result was.

I love it.

watervole: (Default)
Somehow - possibly somthing to do with the DDOS attack on LJ yesterday, it failed to accept my cross-post from Dreamwidth.

As it had links to some wonderful Tolkien recordings, you might like to read it here.
watervole: (Default)
How did I never know these existed before?

There's an incredible sense of touching something real.  I never thought to hear Tolkien's voice, let alone for it to be so expressive.  I had hair standing on the back of my neck.

Having heard him sing Sam's troll song, I now understand exactly where Sam's accent comes from.  Tolkien switches voice depending on what he's reading, but when he's Sam, it feels exactly right.  And that's given me instantly an extra understanding of the whole LOTR novels.  Sam is the character who is with us all the way.  He's fascinated by elves, by strange people and places, but, like Frodo, he has a deep sense of where his real home is.  I think Sam may have been the character Tolkien felt closest to.

I found this in a link from the Tor Tolkien read-through and it led me to others: 


One Ring to Rule them All

Gil-Galad was an Elven King

In case  you hadn't guessed, I'm re-reading Lord of the Rings after a gap of a decade or more - and getting more out of it than I expected even though I've read it many times before.  I'm just on the border of Hollin, before they reach Moria.

If you want to hear more of Tolkien's voice, look here and give thanks to the person who uploaded them all!

watervole: (Default)
Several people have given me helpful links and comments - this is a link I found when following on from a LOTR Read through on TOR.

There's a discussion by Ursula le Guin on Tokiens use of patterning in speech and story.  She says: " Tom Bombadil, in The Fellowship of the Ring, speaks metrically. His name is a drumbeat, and his meter is made up of free, galloping dactyls and trochees, with tremendous forward impetus: Tum tata Tum tata, Tum ta Tum ta . . . . "You let them out again, Old Man Willow! What be you a-thinking of? You should not be waking. Eat earth! Dig deep! Drink water! Go to sleep! Bombadil is talking!""

I looked up dactyl - basically a long
beat followed by two shorter ones (Like a long finger bone with two shorter joints after it - hence the name). 

A trochee is a long beat followed by a short one.  (Edgar Allen Poe's 'Raven' is a classic example of a poem using trochees)

watervole: (Default)
I'm re-reading Lord of the Rings after a break of quite a few years.  I've always liked the way Tolkien uses different speech patterns for different characters, but until now I hadn't realised that Tom Bombadil speaks in the same metre that he sings in.

I'm not sure what metre it is, but I can sing his dialogue to the same tunes that I can sing his songs to.
watervole: (Default)
Thanks to Megamole for linking to Born of Hope - the story of Arathorn and Gilraen.

Definitely one for the Tolkien lovers, but also an impressive view of what can be achieved on a very small budget by fannish volunteers.

I wasn't too impressed by the actress playing Gilraen, but felt Arathorn was very good.  However, the quality of costumes, special effects, music, camera work, etc where what we would have expected of commercial cinema only a few years ago.

In fact my only real complaint is this: actors in films, amateur or commercial, do not know how to wear cloaks properly outdoors.  I own one and sometimes wear it in cold weather.  The only way to stay warm, is not to let the front hang open, but to fling one side over the opposite shoulder and pin it there.


watervole: (Default)
Judith Proctor


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