Friday, January 08, 2010

Poetry Friday: Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold...

I decided to participate this month in a read-a-long of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. It's being hosted by Eva of A Striped Armchair. Part of me almost always forgets the poetry (the songs) involved with Tolkien's Middle Earth. (Maybe because I'm prone to skimming?!) Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to share part of a poem/song from an early chapter of The Hobbit. I'll also answer the read-a-long meme at the end of this post.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old

We must away ere break of day

To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,

While hammers fell like ringing bells

In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord

There many a gleaming golden hoard

They shaped and wrought, and light they caught

To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung

The dragon-fire, in twisted wire

They meshed the light of moon and sun.

Far over the misty mountains cold

To dungeons deep and caverns old

We must away, ere break of day,

To claim our long-forgotten gold.

To read the whole poem, pick up a copy of The Hobbit.

When did you first hear of The Hobbit? What made you decide to join the read-a-long?

I don't remember the first time I heard of it. I do remember the first time I read it. It was as an adult. As to what made me decide to join the read-a-long, I thought it would be fun to read this one as part of a group.

Have you read it before? If so tell us about that experience.

I *think* it was assigned reading for a course in children's literature. I also reread this one in 2008 so I could review it for the blog. So this will be my third time to read this one.

J.R.R. Tolkien pretty much founded the modern fantasy genre. So let’s take a moment to think about the genre as a whole; have you always loved fantasy? Or perhaps you still feel rather skeptical towards the whole idea of wizards and dwarfs and magic? What was your introduction to the genre?

I don't know what my first *true* introduction to the genre was. It may have been Alice in Wonderland. Which is delightfully weird and fantastic. Or it could have been C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. My mom read me Alice when I was *very* small. And I picked up C.S. Lewis in fourth grade.

Do you have a certain plan for reading it? A few pages a day, spacing it out over the month? Or are you just going to race through it? Let whimsy decide?

I don't know if I have "a plan". I've finished the first two chapters so far. I'd like to keep reading a little at a time just so I can be sure to finish it this month along with everyone else. But if I get really into it (and what's not to get into) then I may finish it sooner than later.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Maxine said...

That gives me the shivers! I love all the poems and songs in The Hobbit. One of my favorites. Thanks for the heads up on the read-along.

Amy said...

I will admit to skimming over the poems the first time I read it. This last time, which just so happened to be for the read-along :-), I did read all the songs and poems and enjoyed them a lot!

Eva said...

I love the songs and poems too! I sang this one aloud when I was reading in the bath the other day. hehe

Beth F said...

Interesting. I really never thought of Alice as being fantasy, so I guess Narnia was not my introduction.

Anastasia @ Here There Be Books said...

Aha! I've been skimming all the poems in The Hobbit so far. I just. I just don't think I'm a poetry sort of person! (This aspect of myself gives me crippling guilt I assure you.)

I do it in every other book that has long poetry/song bits in it, too, which is probably why I never finished Fairest. *cough*