Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hobbits Are More Like Men Than Men

No doubt you (you being my few devoted readers) are curious to hear what has become of me. First, I was swamped with work. Then I went jaunting up and down the coast, and then I reread The Hobbit, which just gets better every time. My favorites are like that. And I still say it and The Lord of the Rings have the best beginnings and endings of any books I've read.

As always, I'm charmed by Tolkien's decision to use a very ordinary main character to help the reader transition into a fantastic land of dragons, magic rings, elves, and wizards. Thanks to a hobbit's tendancies to worry about lunch from day to day yet to reveal his most brave, resourceful self when placed in a tough situation, I both commiserate with and admire them. Hambone recently left a beautiful comment on my post saying she most resembled Eowyn in LOTR. I am much more like Bilbo and Sam. I also like Bilbo's poems the best, even compared to the artistry of the elves' songs.

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

There's a simplicity in these lines to which I relate moreso than the epic poems elsewhere in Tolkien's books, and I'm sure he meant for that to be the case. The lure of adventure, the exhaustion from it, and ultimately familiar landscape and home: That is something I consider daily.

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