Friday, March 5, 2010

Songs and Poems of Middle-earth

In preparation for our meeting next week on Thursday, March 11, I thought we should start thinking about Tolkien's songs and poems. One of my favorites is Galadriel's Lament (Tolkien reading the Quenya version, Namarie). Here it is translated, as it appears in The Fellowship of the Ring:
   I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew:
   Of wind I sang, a wind there came and in the branches blew.
   Beyond the Sun, beyond the Moon, the foam was on the Sea,
   And by the strand of Ilmarin there grew a golden Tree.
   Beneath the stars of Ever-eve in Eldamar it shone,
   In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion.
   There long the golden leaves have grown upon the branching years,
   While here beyond the Seas now fall the Elven-tears.
   O Lórien! The Winter comes, the bare and leafless Day;
   The leaves are falling in the stream, the River flows away.
   O Lórien! Too long I have dwelt upon this Hither Shore
   And in a fading crown have twined the golden elanor.
   But if of ships I now should sing, what ship would come to me,
   What ship would bear me ever back across so wide a Sea?

A recording of Tolkien reading his Hymn to Elbereth may also be found on YouTube.

I also found some websites on this subject that may be of interest, including:
About the Songs and Poems in The Lord of the Rings
Grey Havens: Songs and Tales

And, if anyone wants to hear Tolkien reading some of his own poems, I have various recordings in my office.

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