Monday, August 21, 2006

Linde Noldova

by me

Cenin i laurië lantala lassi
ar istan lassalantë tuluva
apa ya úvin cenë coirë.
Úvan marë oialë sinomë.

Enyalin Valimar ar i cálala Aldu
ar Varda yo henduva eleni nar nalta.
Mal Lórien yando ná vanima,
ar alassi Endorwa nar úvië.

Nanyë linyenwa, lá yéni ataníva;
i malinorni nar sindë hendunyassë
yétala oialë Númenna.
Yulmanya yeníva ná lusta.

Umin cenë i metta.
Tienya palya oialë.
Mana lúmessë ciryanya ciruva?
A mannë Atani! An firuvalyë.

Song of the Noldo

I see the golden falling leaves
and I know an autumn will come
after which I will not see the spring.
I shall not remain here forever.

I remember Valimar and the shining Trees
and Varda, of whose eyes the stars are a glittering reflection.
But Lórien also is fair,
and the joys of Middle-earth are abundant.

I am old, beyond years of Men;
the mallorn trees are grey in my eyes,
looking always Westward.
My cup of years is empty.

I do not see the end.
My path stretches forever.
When will my ship set sail?
O blessed Men! For you shall die.

* * *

All right, there it is: my first original poem to be posted on this blog. It was easier somehow to start with my Quenya poetry, with the idea that maybe you'll think it's only stilted because it's not my native language. Of course the framework as well as the language is taken from Tolkien.

It's not very original; it's basically what Galadriel's thoughts might have been around the time of The Lord of the Rings, or another Noldo in Middle-earth at the same time. I wanted to convey the ambivalence that might be felt by someone both eager to go and a little bit sorry to leave. Tolkien somehow manages to give you that sense so well every time we see Elves. They sometimes thought of death as a gift men had been given, instead of as a curse.


James said...

Very nice! I'm no poetry buff or anything, but I think it captures the thoughts of a Elf grown "weary with the world" very well.

(I got to your blog from Leah's, my sister, by the way)

Ria said...

That is great, I love it!

Sheila said...

Well, if you're Leah's brother, you must be trustworthy. ;)

Thanks for the compliments. *blushes and looks at ground*

Andreth said...

I remember this, and also that I really liked it.

Chestertonian said...

Sheila, I am so VERY impressed that you not only know Quenya, but apparently know it well enough to compose poetry in that language. Tolkien is the most influentual writer in my life, even more so than Chesterton, as reading LOTR brought be back into the Catholic Church after years being away (I came to Chesterton some years after first reading Tolkien).

I am not a linguist, though I greatly admire those who make Tolkien's invented languages their specialty. I concentrate more on the theology and philosophy in Tolkien's fiction, since it gave me back my Faith, obviously. :-)

They sometimes thought of death as a gift men had been given, instead of as a curse.

It was intended as a gift by Eru, and only became cursed due to the corruption wrought by Melkor.

Sheila said...

Tolkien is one of my favorites also. I never could choose between Chesterton and Tolkien. I think Chesterton is closer to my heart, because he thinks like I do, but Tolkien manages to stir up my imagination in such a special way. I have plenty of loyalty to each.

(But when Tolkien didn't like The Ballad of the White Horse, he was definitely wrong. However, I forgive him that, because he did like Chesterton's work in general.)

Chestertonian said...

I once asked Joseph Pearce about Tolkien's negative attitude toward Ballad of the White Horse. According to Joseph, that poem was one of the things that inspired Tolkien to study ancient English; he read that poem in his teens and loved it. However, he re-read the poem as an adult, after he had amassed more knowledge of Middle and Old English than anyone else on earth.

With that kind of background, it was inevitable that Tolkien would have found some things about the poem that he did not or could not like, given his reputation as a perfectionist. Also, his daughter Priscilla found it difficult, so part of Tolkien's ire toward the poem as an adult may also have come from that (good father that he was, he'd rather criticize the poem than criticize his daughter for not liking it).

so, yeah, he was wrong to not like BWH as an adult, but there are some complicated reasons behind his dislike too. Probably both men have had a hearty laugh over it at The Inn at the End of the World. :-)

Sheila said...

I'm sure. :)