December 26, 2012

It's the day after Christmas, and in our household that means one thing (besides the leftovers)'s movie day!  Since we moved away from our families twelve years ago we had to find something to substitute for the grand cousins' Christmas party we usually held the day after Christmas, and movie day has become our new tradition.  Since we are all avid J.R.R. Tolkien fans, The Hobbit was our unanimous choice for this year, and we have been waiting impatiently with high expectations for today.  We have watched the three Lord of the Rings movies so many times we can quote lengthy passages and are soooo excited to finally see the first installment of the book that started it all. 

I was introduced to The Hobbit back in college in the 70's, when I reluctantly signed up for an English class, The Warrior in Literature, which was the only English class available in the time slots I had left.  Does anyone else remember walking around an auditorium, clutching your schedule in your hand and standing in line to register for a class, only to have the last class that would work with your schedule close right before you reached the table?!  I was certainly not keen to take a class on 'warriors' and imagined a very boring semester, but in that funny way that life has of working itself out, it became my favorite class of all time.  We studied Le Mort d'Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Song of Roland, Njal's Saga, the Nibelungenlied, and finished with The Hobbit.  From the opening sentence “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" I was captivated by the beauty of Tolkien's language and the fascinating worlds he created.  Elves, dwarves, goblins, dragons, good and evil, what more could you ask for in a timeless tale of legends of old?  I particularly like the title The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey--because in the end aren't our lives an unexpected journey?  We have moments of pastoral bliss, moments of trudging through frightening new territories, moments of facing a dragon, but in the end we all hope to triumph over evil.

Here is one of the poems from the Hobbit, Over the Misty Mountains Cold.  Due to its length, you can find the rest of the poem at  I'll let you know tomorrow what we thought of the movie!

Far over the Misty Mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
We must away, ere break of day,
To seek our 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, on 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.

Goblets they carved there for themselves,
And harps of gold, where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the heights,
The wind was moaning in the night,
The fire was red, it flaming spread,
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale,
And men looked up with faces pale.
The dragon's ire, more fierce than fire,
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon.
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled the hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Far over the Misty Mountains grim,
To dungeons deep and caverns dim,
We must away, ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!

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