Back in November I shared the “Lament for the Rohirrim,” by J.R.R. Tolkien on Remembrance Day. Tolkien was a gifted poet, but because much of his poetry as we know it is contained in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, it tends to be overshadowed by his substantial prose. However, a decade spent … Continue reading Tolkien & The Wanderer
The Wordstapas are currently reading The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien. In the latest meeting we spoke briefly of Eärendil the Mariner, and his origin in the Old English poem Christ. As we had little time left in the meeting to discuss this at length, and lack of resources at hand, I have taken the opportunity … Continue reading Eärendil the Sky-Mariner
I have begun to journey into the “Matter of Britain”: the extensive collection of lore pertaining to King Arthur. I am beginning with Howard Pyle’s venerable writings, although I am aware it is not the original version. I have had some misgivings about this, especially after poking my nose into Sir Thomas Malory’s reasonably sized … Continue reading Embarking on the “Matter of Britain”
It was in October 2021 that I announced the creation of The Tolkien Club. At that time I expressed my hesitation to name the society “The Tolkien Club,” for I knew we would not be reading much of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, but rather focusing on ancient mythology (albeit of the kind that Tolkien read). So … Continue reading Why “The Wordstapas”?
Ravens appear in several places across western mythology. They are present in folklore, such as the tale of The Seven Ravens, and in Greek myth, where they are associated with Apollo. Ravens are prominent symbols in Norse and Germanic mythology and in Anglo-Saxon poetry, and J.R.R. Tolkien uses them for similar purposes in The Hobbit. … Continue reading Some Parallels Pertaining to Ravens (and Other Beasts of Battle)
Long ago, before stealing another’s work for your own was blighted with the poisonous multisyllabic Latinate word plagiarism, Anglo-Saxon writers were streamlining their historical documents by pasting paragraphs from previous writers into their own work. Later historians would exchange silent, shocked glances when they learned that their ancestors participated freely in this scandalous art. But … Continue reading “Reusing”: An Anglo-Saxon Guide to Plagiarism
English is an unruly little beast. Although it boasts borrowed words from over 350 different languages, it has shamefully neglected itself and must often stand trial on charge of its ludicrous inconsistencies. Nouns mascarade as adjectives, verbs change hats with auxiliary verbs, and the amount and variety of nouns that flirt with verbs is distressing. … Continue reading English in the Dock: Have, Have, Have & Will, Will, Will
Each line of Old English poetry is divided into two half-lines with a caesura in the middle. A caesura is a break or pause in the syntactical rhythm of a line of poetry. In modern publications of Old English poetry, publishers indicate the position of the caesura by leaving a white space between the two half-lines ...
During the fall semester, as I was studying Old English texts, I unearthed several Old English words I vaguely assumed J.R.R. Tolkien had invented himself. I am not referring to words Tolkien borrowed and modified to his own taste. These were words whose form in The Lord of the Rings was identical (or nearly identical) … Continue reading 5 Words You Thought Tolkien Invented
Purpose: To enlighten my readers on the word fernweh, which I have used at least twice without any explanation of its meaning. Fernweh is a German word, and its meaning requires a little explanation as it does not translate very comfortably into English. Fern means “far” and weh means “ache” or “pain.” Fernweh describes the … Continue reading On “Fernweh”