May 24, 2013

I finished this calligraphy piece several months ago but forgot to blog it-- it's J.R.R. Tolkien's beautiful poem Namárië from The Lord of the RingsIt is written in Quenya (the High Elvish language). On the left, the poem is written in our alphabet, and on the write, it is written in the Tengwar (Elvish) script.

The poem is a beautiful piece which the Lady Galadriel sings to Frodo when the Fellowship leaves Lothlorien to destroy the Ring. 

I didn't have space to fit the entire poem on my little sheet of paper board, so I just used the first stanza and stuck the final two lines (about farewells and finding Valinor) on at the end. 

The border was done entirely freehand using india ink and watercolors. I am pretty proud of it-- this was my first time making an Art Nouveau border, and I'm getting better at making celtic knots with decorative tips.

The heraldic device at the top is the symbol for Feanor, as designed by Tolkien himself. I thought this device would be fitting because not only is Feanor Galadriel's anscestor (if I have my genealogy straight), but it was mostly because of his family that the Elves were banished from Valinor-- and this poem is all about Galadriel's longing for Valinor when she thought she could not return, but nonetheless wished that Frodo may make it there one day. (Valinor is sort of like an Elvish heaven-- sort of, not really, but it's the best description I can come up with off the top of my head).

Here's the English version of the poem:
Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind,
long years numberless as the wings of trees!
The years have passed like swift draughts
of the sweet mead in lofty halls beyond the West,
beneath the blue vaults of Varda
wherein the stars tremble in the song of her voice, holy and queenly.

Who now shall refill the cup for me?

For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the Stars,
from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds,
and all paths are drowned deep in shadow;
and out of a grey country darkness lies on the foaming waves between us,
and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever.
Now lost, lost to those from the East is Valimar!
Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar.
Maybe even thou shalt find it. Farewell!

For those of you complete Tolkienites, the title of this blog post ("Farewell") is not about me saying farewell to blogging or anything. I have one more crazy busy week of school left, and after that I will be taking a couple of days to just do nothing and not feel guilty about it (in other words, I will curl up on the hammock for two days and do nothing but devour some novels and drink lots of iced tea and catch up on TV shows before bed). After that, however, I will be working on some of the hundreds of creative projects that have been clanking around in my brain. :) 

It's so incredibly strange to think that I am almost done with high school. It's been a beautiful four years and I've learned and grown so much! For all of you still in school, when does your summer vacation begin?

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  1. HAHAHA. I was convinced you were going to close the blog when I saw the title. PHEW. Beautiful work, as always! :D

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  3. Hehe...saw the post title and was scared for a second that you were leaving!
    Oh, that is gorgeous! Love it!


  4. Beautiful; calligrphy!


  5. Oh, that is so pretty! I love that poem muchly. There's a version somewhere where Tolkien actually reads it aloud, and I ADORE the way Elvish comes slipping off the tongue. :)


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