Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Nainie nilden

by me

Atanen amárien Endoressë,
ar sí avánies,
lá nanyë nútina sinomë.

A nildenyë! Cuilelya ná sinta
úmel polë márë as inye.
Sí vanwa nalyë inyello,
Umin ista yanna oantiel.

Alantiel ve lassë aldallo,
úmel mahta fairelya.
Lá sinten fairë ve sintelyes,
lá cennenyes ve cennelyes.

Túlel cuilenyanna
ve vinya elen menelenna,
ve Anar mornë taurenna.
Sí mornië enutúlië ar Endor ná sindë.

Lá hilyuvanyel, melda vendë,
lá hiruvanyel.
Rato ve alqua ramyuvan,
ciruvan linta ciryassë i háya falassenna.

Nai cenuvanyel
Andúnë pella, Arda pella,
aurë entassë yassë Eldar ar Atani
liruvar as i Ainur alcassë Ilúvataro.

"Lament for a Friend"

For a mortal I abode in Middle-earth,
and now she has gone,
I am not bound here.

O my friend! Your life is short,
You could not abide with me.
Now you are lost to me,
I do not know where you have gone.

You departed like a leaf from a tree,
you did not fight your death
I did not know death as you knew it,
I did not see it as you saw it.

You came into my life
like a new star into the sky,
like the Sun into a dark forest.
Now darkness has returned and Middle-earth is grey.

I will not follow you, dear maiden,
I will not find you.
Soon I will fly like a swan,
I will sail in a swift ship to the far shore.

May I see you
Beyond the West, beyond the world,
on that day in which Elves and Men
sing with the Ainur in the splendour of Ilúvatar.

* * *

Here's my other Quenya poem. (This and "Linde Noldova" are my only really decent ones.) This was inspired by the idea of Elves making friends with mortals, as they did sometimes. Legolas and Gimli are the probably most famous example, but I was more inspired by the story of Finrod and Andreth from Morgoth's Ring (a collection of previously unpublished work of Tolkien's). Finrod could not understand the idea of death. Andreth gives a very good explanation of it, and mentions some prophecies Men have had for the mending of their fate by Iluvatar Himself. There is a hope that at the end of time, Elves and Men will be reunited and both will dwell together with Iluvatar. (For non-Tolkienians, Iluvatar, "All-Father," is a name for God.)

I would encourage even those who don't understand Quenya (which is probably everyone) at least to try reading the original out loud. Tolkien put a lot of music into his creation of that language. In the movies, Sindarin is spoken pretty much exclusively, but Quenya is the more beautiful in my opinion. It is supposed to be "high" Elvish, kind of like Elven Latin. Is it any wonder it appeals to me?

I chose to post this today because soon I will take flight like a swan. That is to say, I'm taking a plane, and then another plane, and then another plane, and then another plane, and will be in Rome Thursday morning.


Leah said...

I think it's very cool that you can write poetry in a made up language. Really good work!

Wow, enjoy Rome. It would be great to see a post about your trip when you get back. :)

Andreth said...

I definitely remember this one. ;) I think more people should read about Finrod and Andreth, since it is there that Tolkien's Christian worldview reveals itself like it does nowhere else (except maybe in his letters.

Sheila said...

If you can find me that part in your book sometime, I'll post it. It's much more explicit than any of his published work, I think.

Haldir said...

Have you ever been to http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf ? It's the best Tolkien Language sight I've been able to find.

Haldir said...

Oops, I just noticed you already have a link to the sight.