Poetry of J.R.R. Tolkien

Discussions about the Professor's poetic verses from Middle-earth
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Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Sat May 26, 2007 7:31 pm

Excellent! That's great, Estel, thanks. it's on mine too :D .
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Chrissiejane
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Post by Chrissiejane » Sat May 26, 2007 11:07 pm

If you visit the Swedish site Estel has recommended in her post, there is a choice of pages in different languages and currencies, and the EU page is in English, and in Euros, making ordering easier for non-Scandinavians like me.
Thanks Estel for the info and wonderful links.
....her song released the sudden spring, like rising lark and falling rain, and melting water bubbling

Estel
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Post by Estel » Sun May 27, 2007 12:50 am

Chrissiejane wrote:If you visit the Swedish site Estel has recommended in her post, there is a choice of pages in different languages and currencies, and the EU page is in English, and in Euros, making ordering easier for non-Scandinavians like me.
Thanks Estel for the info and wonderful links.

:shock: Don't buy it from the Swedish site CDON.com, it's expensive! I just put it there for details about the box.
I'd go with the Danish cdklassisk.dk instead, that site comes in English and euros, if you just click on the British flag, as I said before. It is cheaper anyway. Plus that it is a smaller company, trying to live on selling classical and jazz music, as opposed to CDON, which mostly sells bestsellers in music, film, games, books etc. Always support small businesses. 8)
I happened to be :whistle: in Copenhagen today and tried to find the street address of the company, to see if there was an actual recordshop, did find one next to the address in question, but it was closed, so I couldn't ask questions. I tell you I passed the door to Nörregade 53, without noticing and then had to go back to find it, that's how small the business is. :lol:
Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day's rising
he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
Hope he rekindled, and in hope ended;
over death, over dread, over doom lifted
out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.

Estel
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Post by Estel » Sun May 27, 2007 12:58 am

Merry wrote::lol:

You've convinced me, Estel: it's on the shopping list!

You will, hopefully :? , sing and be glad when it arrives. :wink: Eagle's Song is one of my favourites.
Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day's rising
he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
Hope he rekindled, and in hope ended;
over death, over dread, over doom lifted
out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.

Chrissiejane
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Scotland

Post by Chrissiejane » Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:44 pm

My copy arrived a couple of days ago, I have not yet had time to listen to the CDs but the book is beautiful - a real treasure, beautifully illustrated and with plenty of background notes as well as the poems themselves. A great edition to anyone's Tolkien collection, so thanks Estel for the links. :)
....her song released the sudden spring, like rising lark and falling rain, and melting water bubbling

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:48 pm

I know you'll enjoy the music, it's very varied, as befits the different poems and all their different styles.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:41 pm

I've been re-reading 'Errantry' from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (after marbreterese told me last night she much she liked the poem) and I'd forgotten how wonderul it is. Definitely one to read (or sing :wink: ) aloud. According to Wikipedia:
Tolkien described it as "most attractive." It consists of a complex trisyllabic assonances, with a metre that Tolkien invented. The second and fourth line of every quartet rhyme, and there is also a secondary rhyme halfway through the second line of each pair. This was so difficult that he never wrote another poem again in this style, though he later did develop another style from this, and the result, through long evolution from Errantry, was Eärendil the Mariner as published in The Fellowship of the Ring.
I hadn't realised he'd invented the metre - if he never used it again that makes it unique. I like the way he ascribes it in retrospect to Bilbo because it's related to the long poem he wrote and recited in Rivendell - which is, of course, the version of Eärendil the Mariner quoted above. Amazing the complex way Tolkien wove all his creativity together.

As a fellow Gilbert and Sullivanophile this will appeal to you, mabreterese, also from Wikipedia:
It may also be interesting to note that Errantry perfectly fits the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan's I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.
Try it - it really does fit :shock:

ERRANTRY by JRR TOLKIEN

There was a merry passenger,
a messenger, a mariner:
he built a gilded gondola
to wander in, and had in her
a load of yellow oranges
and porridge for his provender;
he perfumed her with marjoram
and cardamom and lavender.

He called the winds of argosies
with cargoes in to carry him
across the rivers seventeen
that lay between to tarry him.
He landed all in loneliness
where stonily the pebbles on
the running river Derrilyn
goes merrily for ever on.
He journeyed then through meadow-lands
to Shadow-land that dreary lay,
and under hill and over hill
went roving still a weary way.

He sat and sang a melody,
his errantry a-tarrying;
he begged a pretty butterfly
that fluttered by to marry him.
She scorned him and she scoffed at him,
she laughed at him unpitying;
so long he studied wizardry
and sigaldry and smithying.

He wove a tissue airy-thin
to snare her in; to follow her
he made him beetle-leather wing
and feather wing of swallow-hair.
He caught her in bewilderment
with filament of spider-thread;
he made her soft pavilions
of lilies, and a bridal bed
of flowers and of thistle-down
to nestle down and rest her in;
and silken webs of filmy white
and silver light he dressed her in.

He threaded gems in necklaces,
but recklessly she squandered them
and fell to bitter quarrelling;
then sorrowing he wandered on,
and there he left her withering,
as shivering he fled away;
with windy weather following
on swallow-wing he sped away.

He passed the archipelagoes
where yellow grows the marigold,
where countless silver fountains are,
and mountains are of fairy-gold.
He took to war and foraying,
a-harrying beyond the sea,
and roaming over Belmarie
and Thellamie and Fantasie.

He made a shield and morion
of coral and of ivory,
a sword he made of emerald,
and terrible his rivalry
with elven-knights of Aerie
and Faerie, with paladins
that golden-haired and shining-eyed
came riding by and challenged him.

Of crystal was his habergeon,
his scabbard of chalcedony;
with silver tipped at plenilune
his spear was hewn of ebony.
His javelins were of malachite
and stalactite-he brandished them,
he went and fought the dragon-flies
of Paradise, and vanquished them.

He battled with the Dumbledores,
the Hummerhorns, and Honeybees,
and won the Golden Honeycomb;
and running home on sunny seas
in ship of leaves and gossamer
with blossom for a canopy,
he sat and sang, and furbished up
and burnished up his panoply.

He tarried for a little while
in little isles that lonely lay,
and found there naught but blowing grass,
and so at last the only way
he took, and turned, and coming home
with honeycomb, to memory
his message came, and errand too!
In derring-do and glamoury
he had forgot them, journeying
and tourneying, a wanderer.
So now he must depart again
and start again his gondola,
for ever still a messenger,
a passenger, a tarrier,
a-roving as a feather does,
a weather-driven mariner.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:12 pm

Wow! You can absolutely sing this to "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General!" Perhaps that was the inspiration for Tolkien's meter. It also has the same kind of rhyme scheme.

I wonder if the Professor would be happy or horrified to realize this? Was he a G&S fan?
Lindariel Image

“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Merry
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Post by Merry » Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:38 pm

Well, that was fun, although I'm all out of breath! I doubt that the Professor meant for it to be read as fast as G&S.

Did you catch the 'Dumbledore'? Should JKR have given us a footnote?
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.

Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:25 am

Merry wrote:
Did you catch the 'Dumbledore'? Should JKR have given us a footnote?
:lol: I wouldn't have caught that if you hadn't mentioned it Merry.

Thank you Iolanthe for the G&S reference. It made the piece easier to read. I did catch myself reading way to fast to enjoy the poem however, with the length as long as it is there were plenty of time to stop and slow down again. :D :wink:
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:45 am

Lindariel wrote:I wonder if the Professor would be happy or horrified to realize this? Was he a G&S fan?
Yes, he was! Priscilla told us at last year's Tolkien Conference that he and Edtith went to G&S performances as often as they could. As a long time G&S performer my ears really pricked up :D .

And Mabreterese has pointed out the one G&S reference in all his works on the art thread where Mrs Mrs Artaxerxes from Roverandom is described as
mabreterese wrote: ...the mer-king's elderly, lovely daughter. As Iolanthe will recognise, it's a direct play on words from a similar phrase in Trial by Jury, where Gilbert describes someone as a rich attorney's elderly ugly daughter - G goes on to say she could very well pass for forty-three in the dusk with the light behind her.
Gilbert shared Tolkien's love of unusual words, rhythm and rhyme.

This from Errantry is absolutely worthy of Gilbert at his best:
He passed the archipelagoes
where yellow grows the marigold
They are perhaps the only two who would try to rhyme archipelagoes :lol: . If you put it in a rhyming dictionary all you get is 'Sorry...did you misspell it?'. If you take off the 's' the only word it comes up with is 'lumbago' :lol: .
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:32 pm

"Oh rapture!"

I'm so glad to hear that The Professor was a G & S fan! I had such a good time playing Mabel and Yum-Yum during the course of my singing career. Unfortunately, I have so many opera friends who turn their noses up at G & S as being "beneath them." They seem to have no appreciation for this sublime form of very British silliness, yet at the same time they'll howl at completely stupid and juvenile movies like Caddy Shack. Their loss!

That rhyming dictionary isn't much help, is it Iolanthe? Lumbago wouldn't work as a rhyme for archipelago. The rhythms and stresses are all wrong.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

marbretherese
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Post by marbretherese » Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:58 pm

Lindariel wrote:I'm so glad to hear that The Professor was a G & S fan! I had such a good time playing Mabel and Yum-Yum during the course of my singing career. Unfortunately, I have so many opera friends who turn their noses up at G & S as being "beneath them." They seem to have no appreciation for this sublime form of very British silliness . .
Lindariel, how fabulous that you enjoy Gilbert & Sullivan! do you sing professionally? Iolanthe & Jonick & I are talented amateurs (she of course is far more talented than we are) and we are almost as nuts about G&S as we are about Tolkien :shock: . We too find that many opera-lovers look down on G&S and it's an interesting parallel with the way that many self-styled literary intellectuals look down on Tolkien. Both Tolkien and Gilbert & Sullivan had the audacity to be accessible to, and popular with, the general public and some people just can't take that!

I was so pleased when I found out that Tolkien & Edith enjoyed G&S; and I loved Errantry for it's clever internal rhyming when I first read it. But it hadn't occured to me that it coul be read as a patter song!! it fits so well to the tune of A Modern Major General that I won't be able to read it again without thinking of the tune!
"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
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Post by Iolanthe » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:34 pm

There - I've ruined it for you too! I can't read it now without hearing it sung by several people we know :lol: .

Yep - Lindariel is a pro :D . Another singer in the ranks.

I like your parallel about G&S, Tolkien and being looked down on literary and musical intellectuals. I get as frustrated by those that can't see the brilliance of Tolkien as I am by those that can't see the brilliance of W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan. In fact I must spend a lot of my time frustrated.... :lol: .

I do think Gilbert would have appreciated errantry for the extremely clever piece it is if he's ever had the pleasure of reading it.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

marbretherese
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Post by marbretherese » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:13 pm

No, no, this discovery hasn't ruined it at all!! it suggests a whole new insight into how Tolkien might have wanted the poem to be seen . . . :) I'm not surprised Tolkien enjoyed G&S - like him, Gilbert loved wordplay and was a master at it - perhaps that's one of the ways we G&S-ophiles (hey! I invented a word! :P ) enjoy Tolkien so much as well - because of his command of language.

I too get frustrated when otherwise apparently intelligent people dismiss Tolkien or G&S out of hand. I don't expect everyone to be keen on them, but some people won't even consider trying to look at their work with an open mind!
"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/

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