80 Years

It’s 80 years since The Hobbit was first published!

The Oxonmoot is celebrating . . . and I think I might try to replicate a few of their Hobbitish desserts.

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April riddle

Here’s a little light riddle for the week. In medieval Europe, April was the first full month of the New Year, which began on March 25 — the feast of the Annunciation for Western Christians. Tolkien borrowed this date as the day of the Ring’s destruction in Mount Doom, and Aragorn instituted it as the beginning of the Gondorian New Year.  So it seems appropriate to seize the day (well, about a week late) to post a short riddle about time.

The answer will appear in a comment on Friday.

I only appear
Once in a year.
Wherever you seek,
I’m twice in a week.
And I’m sorry to say,
I’m not once in a day.

Evenstar

She waited, as the evening
Waits for silver laughter.
She waited as the winter
Longs for dripping water.
She waited. Others left her,
Went riding far and wandering:
She waited, as a hollow
Fills with quiet haunting.
She spoke no jarring word,
Went warring not, nor ranging.
She wore no feckless sword;
She did no feat of daring.
She waited, for the healing
Of all things comes with waiting.
She waited, as the starlight
Waits for the world’s changing.

Many a Road

This poem reminds me of “The Road Goes Ever, Ever On,” though it was written about 50 years earlier. MacDonald influenced both Tolkien and Lewis–as well as less likely characters like Mark Twain.

Parting

Thou goest thine, and I go mine,
Many ways we wend;
Many days, and many ways,
Ending in one end.

Many a wrong, and its curing song;
Many a road, and many an inn;
Room to roam, but only one home
For all the world to win.

~ George MacDonald, 1824-1905

Riddle

I suppose any good Tolkienist should be interested in riddles. So here’s a little one for this week. (The answer is posted in a comment below.)

What swirls down hills
And into holes,
But will not fill
Our empty bowls?

To the Professor

A happy 125th birthday . . . to the one Professor who rules them all.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

~ J. R. R. Tolkien (Jan. 3, 1892 – Sep. 2, 1973)