Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review of Lord of the Rings - in rhyme!

If you're going to review such a classic work, you'd best have something new to say, and say it in a fresh way to boot.  Hope I've succeeded on both counts:

Lord of the Rings (three books with wings)
     by J.R.R. Tolkien.
P. Wetzel's new full-verse review:
     Good, bad and in between.

I've read this thrice.  Each time was nice.
     The last, I must confess,
Is filtered through the story's new
     Theatrical success.

If I could own one book alone
     This treasure's what I'd choose;
But this critique shall also speak
     Of things I wish he'd lose.

Foremost there is a Name of his
     To which my fury delves:
" ... those creatures which in English I
     misleadingly call 'Elves' ..."

This Tolkien quote was one he wrote
     in nineteen-fifty-one.
His self-confess'd linguistic mess
     was published by his son.*

When Santa spoke of little folk
     who help him make his rounds,
His voice recalls those Northern Halls
     where proper Elves are found.

Full stop. 'Nuff said. Put that to bed.
     For next I must despair:
Why'd he create a Lord of Hate
     Who's peers don't seem to care?

Behind closed doors in Valinor
     Aloof the Valar dwell,
While Sauron's powers seize the hour -
     Rend Middle Earth to hell.

Perhaps a nice tell-tale device,
     Perhaps a little more.
For there was strife in Tolkien's life:
     He suffered loss in war.

One last dissent ere I relent:
     Goldberry is her name.
Her vapid role, her empty soul
     Could hardly be more lame.

But last and most, I rise to toast
     This language lover's art:
No author herds his flock of words
     More deftly to my heart!

- P. J. Wetzel, 2011

*Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981) No. 131.