~*~

Misty Mountains-ICON


I was not able to find much background information about this watercolour, not even a date, but suffice it to say I like it very much, although more as a rendering of a beautiful natural setting than as a depiction of the Misty Mountains, built by Melkor, delved by dwarves and peopled by orcs and "darker, fouler" things. Its tone is soft, its warm colours glow, the composition with its pleasant road winding leisurely over the river towards the foot hills invites the viewer to approach. Thus, as lovely as the painting is, it doesn't conjure for me a sense of the book's Misty Mountains.

But if the watercolour fails to convey the grandeur, mystery and menace of the Misty Mountains, the poem it inspired does. Bilbo experienced much in the Misty Mountains -- beauty, wonder, enchantment, but also terror and darkness. Jan-u-wine's poem, reminiscing through Bilbo's eyes, savours of all these things.



~*~










"The Misty Mountains", watercolour and pencil, undated:


MISTY MOUNTAINS-Red.


The Misty Mountains

It is said that
Evil

brought
them to being,

these now-silent
peaks,

heads
wreathed grey-white
with cloud,

feet astride
the road's ribboned miles.

Evil birthed them,
ages passing

in the dwelling of it.

But light there was, too,
light,

traveler's tales,
and small laughter,

betimes,

upon the upward and downward
paths they have known.

My feet walked there,

trod
the fine,
all-but-silt
of the Road,

bruised themselves
upon the unyielding stone
that stays within.


Blacker than any night,
that ....

within,

weighted
by a dark

that is more
than an absence of Sun.

And....
the smell of them....

these creatures of mountains
(for such they are....

such
they are)...

the earth-tang of vast caverns
and rock-bone aeries

that live beneath the
mountains water'd cloak,

or the close chambers
whose scent whispers
of age-beyond-age.

Ah, the smell of them:

the under-earth scent of soft, wet rock,
of plants large with

strangeness,
green-glow'd in this

encompassed night.


In that compacted,
close

dark,
there is memory,
too.

Fine-drawn pictures
of the day

outside
prisoning walls:

of far-off,
lemony Sun,

of the risen moon's
brass-burnished light.....

the small diamond pen-strokes
of attendant stars.

Of pine's comforting spice,
the recollection

limned in fire,
the memory

swifted
into pinioned night
upon strong, dark
wings.

I think on these things,
here,

an Age
and

a World away.

I think on them,

the Sun laying a fire-path
upon the blue-green of the Sea,

the bright scent of Oiolairë
drifting like smoke

within the high vault of the sky.

An eagle flies there,
sailing upon the breast of the clear wind
like a barque upon the Straight Road.

I smile.

Perhaps, again,
he may come to bear me away.



_______________________
Hithaeglir.

The Towers of Mist.

So they were,
so they are.

~*~










Previous entry:

Mirkwood-ICONTaur-na-Fuin-ICON ~ "Mirkwood": pictures by Tolkien, poem by jan-u-wine.


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

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