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NF-Lee's Bilbo w the dwarves

'The Desolation of Smaug': a new poem by jan-u-wine with screencap from 'The Hobbit'.

Posted on 2013.11.28 at 08:50
Tags: , , , ,

Desolation of Smaug screencap-TEASER

Jan-u-wine's latest Tolkien-based poem was not written for a particular painting or image, but from an inspirational mix. Talking with friends about the work of Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Hobbit and Sherlock, jan-u-wine began to wonder more deeply about the nature of Smaug's existence in the Lonely Mountain, and the relationship, however brief, between Smaug and his diminutive conversation partner (possibly his only conversation partner in centuries). Did the great Smaug live under the mountain in splendid isolation or simply in isolation? Tolkien named the peak that became Smaug's lair "The Lonely Mountain", no doubt because it stood alone, cut off from the nearby mountain chains. But for jan-u-wine, the "lonely" in the name evokes more than geographical isolation. "The Desolation of Smaug" no doubt refers to the ashy wasteland Smaug's attacks wrought, but perhaps "desolation" hints at another sort of desolation, an inner state produced by a solitary existence.

The poem has two parts, the first from Smaug's point of view, the second from that of Bilbo Baggins. Together they make a brilliant piece, evocative and perceptive.


Desolation of Smaug screencap-REDUCED

The Desolation of Smaug

These pale

these things of little property
and less propriety.....

these boring creatures
of yellow-faced day....

they have a name for me:


Am I thus,
am I.......


Master Burglar?

A lowly shadow,
hidden within

the last hole
he crept through....



is the true
and mean

measure of me?

Master Burglar.

No, Riddler most clever.

More. There is more:

From the North I come,
and even I have forgot

my golden birthing,
the mighty Drake who was my.....

(what IS the Westron word...oh, yes:)

the Vibria who should have been my.....

There is no love,


Our warm embrace

a river-running-red
of sudden death,

a screamed silence
of trailing oblivion.

Many have I sent
on such a journey,

careful of the paring
of body from bauble.

In the end,
only these glimmered

cold as far-off stars
accompany my dremes.

(Such dremes as dragons have:

of days of sun and high-flown cloud,
lakes and towns and

ablaze and writhing,
reduced to simple ash-petals

beneath an uncaring moon).

In the end,
it is

beneath the Lonely Mountain.


And in this desolate state,
in this solitary


I must now sleep.

It is good to sleep.
It is

Master Burglar,
I warn you:

You should

me sleep.


Gold is his eye.

yet threaded,

with dark,

as if the Ages he has

the people
and places

ended by his wrath,
are kept there,

held in a fixed
of horror.

Does he know horror,
I wonder?

Do he know the terror
of the great hearts

that yet cannot
flee or defeat him?

Does he know,
as he rests beneath
his quilt of stolen gold,

does he know
what it means for
lungs to crackle

with fire,
tender tissue
to flame upon bone,

screams to echo
within one's own ears

before a blessed ending?

Surely not.

Surely not,
this Wyrm

of gilt beauty,
this ......

creature of fiery deed
and speech,

stitchery of spell'd evil.

You are

Master Wyrm.

The high crown of your brow

like the gems beneath your belly,
like the ancient fires of your eyes,

opal-lit with remorseless memory.

You are wondrous.

You are beauty-in-death,
close-kept reposed fire,

grand, serpent-eyed trickery.

In this Age,
you are most


O, Smaug.

With my last breath,
I might praise you,


I might.

And with my next-to-last,
reveal the lovely paleness

of a Fire-Drake's
unarmored breast.

It is better than treasure,

Master Smaug.

We shall have it,
the Company

and their


Served up cold
as the dark

behind the stars.

Served up swift
as a night'd arrow.

great Wyrm.

For that is all,

that you are.


Previous entry:
~ "Old Man Willow" by Tolkien, "Suite: Meriadoc" by jan-u-wine.

Other Links:
Nan's Reunion-ICON ~ All entries featuring jan-u-wine's poems.


shirebound at 2013-11-28 15:24 (UTC) (Link)
Ooooh, those points of view complement each other beautifully.
mechtild at 2013-11-28 16:11 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you enjoyed the piece's charms, Shirebound. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
ambree40 at 2013-11-28 21:25 (UTC) (Link)
A very intriguing poem, Jan. Bilbo sounds quite vengeful. I think it's time for me to re-read The Hobbit.
mechtild at 2013-11-28 23:41 (UTC) (Link)
You are right, there is no love for Smaug in evidence. I can't speak for Jan, but, from my own recollections of the story, I think Bilbo's attitude towards Smaug, while respectful of the dragon's deadliness, his power to kill where he wished, is not respectful in other ways or prone to pity.

I'm glad the piece intrigued! :)

Edited at 2013-11-29 06:01 am (UTC)
aussiepeach at 2013-11-29 00:27 (UTC) (Link)
I liked these very much, especially Smaug's POV. Benedict/Sherlock is such a good choice for his character!
mechtild at 2013-11-29 03:03 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I think Cumberbatch's Sherlock will inform Smaug's quite admirably.

Hi, Peachy! Your baby must be growing by leaps and bounds. I just looked quickly at your post titles and see she's named Aurora. Such a lovely name. Is she a Sleeping Beauty, like Perrault's heroine, or mostly a waking one? ;)
jan_u_wine at 2013-11-29 14:31 (UTC) (Link)
thank you, Aussie! I am glad you enjoyed. And what a lovely name you have chosen for your little one. She is a light to you (in between waking in the night) I have no doubt.

(my first NEVER slept thru the night. By the time I had the second, he still was waking. And that is the way it goes, sigh)
mole_caz at 2013-11-29 17:18 (UTC) (Link)
My, what powerful images in this poem; raw and questioning and very honest.
jan_u_wine at 2013-11-29 19:05 (UTC) (Link)
Moley! so honored that you dropped by! Hope all is well with you, hubbie and Little Man!
mechtild at 2013-11-29 22:51 (UTC) (Link)
Moley, a pleasure to read your comment. I concur!
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2013-12-01 04:42 (UTC) (Link)
That Bilbo is a scary little guy of quiet wrath.

And Smaug full of self-pity--as all monsters are--as he threatens destruction on others. His loneliness is that of the murderer of his parents who bemoans his orphaned state.

Very chilly poems but right on target.

Phrases that really struck me:

a screamed silence
of trailing oblivion.

careful of the paring
of body from bauble

held in a fixed
of horror.

stitchery of spell'd evil.

opal-lit with remorseless memory.
jan_u_wine at 2013-12-02 00:10 (UTC) (Link)
I'm very glad you enjoyed, LT!

Both Smaug and Mr. Baggins surprised me in this piece!
antane at 2013-12-14 01:58 (UTC) (Link)
Have not seen the movie yet, but I love Smaug 's part here!

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)
mechtild at 2013-12-15 21:25 (UTC) (Link)
I haven't seen it yet, either, Antane. I hope to go tomorrow. :)
jan_u_wine at 2013-12-22 22:37 (UTC) (Link)
thank you, Antane!
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