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NF-Lee's 3/4 Frodo sketch

Tolkien's Landscapes 5: 'The Misty Mountains' ~ picture by Tolkien, poem by jan-u-wine.

Posted on 2013.07.20 at 08:50

Comments:


ambree40
ambree40 at 2013-07-21 15:21 (UTC) (Link)
“it doesn't conjure for me a sense of the book's Misty Mountains”.

Agreed! Another Tolkien painting of the Misty Mountains: “Bilbo Woke Up with the Early Sun in His Eyes” also lacks that sense of malice from the book. Behind the Eagle are the same steep snow-clad peaks as in the painting you posted. There are yellow streaks of sunlight in the painting that make the landscape quite cheerful.

For me, the sense of menace from the books is best shown in Tolkien’s black and white drawing ‘The Mountain-path’.

What I love about Jan-u-wine’s poem is that it captures all these different feelings Bilbo has. I even recognize what he could smell in the mountain caves.

Once again, thank you both for a lovely post.
jan_u_wine
jan_u_wine at 2013-07-21 16:56 (UTC) (Link)
Dear Ambree.....I'm so glad that you are enjoying this series. In doing research for this piece, I read the Thain's Book entry on the Misty Mountains. Created by Morgoth. What a patent and what a parent! What might be worse than having Sauron's boss as your creator? And yet......there are few things in any world that are utterly evil, for they are acted upon, and flavored by, in every moment, other things.

(and such acting (may) laughs in the face of the arrogant evil of a Morgoth or a Sauron)

I think on the nature of Bilbo at that moment in time. Although the dwarves were certainly upon the Road with a rather grim and determined mission, Bilbo (at least at first) was a Squire On An Adventure. How much of his simple hobbit nature, his solid and decent (Martin Freeman's word, in describing Bilbo)self, did he bring?

When I look at this picture, that is what i see: a land capable of innocence, a land capable of being adventured upon. But, like any place, there is that we bring with us and that which others have brought. We are not alone within the places of the world. Nor was Bilbo.



You know, i think i have been nattering along like this to explain to myself why i wrote the poem as i did (as well as why Tolkien's pics of MM might not have been so dark). I can't help but think that Bilbo brought his careful, yet sunny hobbit disposition to his small quest.....only to find that dark waits behind the sun as well as behind the grand curtains that mark out the beginnings of Adventure.

thank you again, Ambree!

Edited at 2013-07-21 05:06 pm (UTC)
ambree40
ambree40 at 2013-07-21 21:17 (UTC) (Link)
How interesting to see you explain why you wrote the poem as you did.

An essentially innocent hobbit in a land capable of innocence, in spite of what others brought to it. That made me think of what Elrond said at the Council: “For nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so".
jan_u_wine
jan_u_wine at 2013-07-21 22:14 (UTC) (Link)
(*lol, i explained it as much to myself as to you. Sometimes it takes the words of others to make me think why/how i wrote as i did. I only know, when i am writing, what feels right and what doesn't. I don't usually know why*)

It's a humbling and saddening thought: "nothing is evil in the beginning"

You automatically think: "well,, DUH, of course not". And yet, we are so used to the presence of evil that the fact of innocence must be presented to us as if we were kindergärtners.

I had a relative who mistreated me from the time i was a small girl until i was in my mid-teens. A most natural way to feel is to hate that person. But in hatred, we deny many things. We deny that there ever could be a relationship, a good and loving one that would benefit both parties. We deny that the other person could ever change. We lock ourselves with them inside the prison of hate.

If nothing was ever evil to begin with, then we must allow that even evil might return to good. Small chance if you are a Morgoth or a Sauron(for it seems to me that the measure of their evil is akin to how good they were in the beginning: they were certainly LARGE creatures of good, of light, of beauty. And they became just as large in their evil). It seemed, almost, that Gollum might throw off his shackles. Perhaps, for moments, he did. And I imagine that he died being as close to redemption as ever he was able to come, after having possessed (and been possessed) for 500 years.

it continues to resonate with me, this very simple (and yet hideously difficult) idea that we are the captains of our own good, our own evil. At any moment, we can coherrently choose to be one or the other. It is never too late to be good. It is never too late to let the wonderful truth that there was no evil in the beginning take hold of the 'reins' of our life.

nattering again. sorry.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2013-07-21 22:14 (UTC) (Link)
Gosh, jan-u-wine, I just love what you wrote about looking at the painting from Bilbo's point of view, approaching the mountains with his heart raised, expectant, sniffing Adventure (but not terror, horror, or deepest dread). Really, that was an imaginative, insightful comment that contributes a lot towards pondering and understanding the picture, the characters, the story and themes. I am so happy Ambree's comment spurred your reply. You always say you can't write non-verse but I say, "HA!" :)
jan_u_wine
jan_u_wine at 2013-07-22 01:07 (UTC) (Link)
Ha ha indeed, eh? I suppose what i should say, if i think about it, is that prose is not as pleasing as poetry. I have a strange relationship with words. They are.....well...all that there are of them are *there*, in front of us. They don't change, don't get older or younger, wiser or more foolish. How they *are* then, it is all up to us. And, somehow, if I use them in prose, I haven't used them as I might. It's like having the pearl of great price, deserving of the finest setting one might ever imagine, and just slapping it into prongs of tin.

words are so similar to music. They have such great power and beauty and it seems a mighty shame to me to use them idly or without*setting* them as ably and lovingly and beautifully as I can.

I don't mind writing in prose and, since my poems mostly don't rhyme, I suppose they are a sort of prose. And yet.....they are not prose, not any more than a house cat is a lion.

anyway....lol......it really is great, i think, when comments beget other comments. That is why we are here, isn't it, to have these lovely conversations, to give and receive these unique blessings....

i'm just really a numpty. A Samwise sort of a numpty, blessed with a fingers that speak before the head rightly understands. I think it's a good place to be.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2013-07-27 14:00 (UTC) (Link)
Ambree, I meant to say I completely agreed with you about "The Mountain Path". It would do well as an illustration for LOTR when they attempt the pass. The lightning adds a lot, decidedly, very dramatic.
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