fileg (fileg) wrote,
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fileg

Anniversary / Finduilas

I've been writing stories in my head all my life, but I seldom made the leap to paper, and showed those leaps even less. Poetry I have always written down - but that seemed a nice safe way to avoid attracting attention with words - my family said I have a flair for expression, but that poetry was hardly a twentieth century skill...

A year ago, having newly discovered reading fanfiction, I was surfing around the internet, thinking about the date. The thirteenth of March. I can't see the date written down without picturing Faramir standing under the wings of terror to buy his men a chance to regroup and escape. And the price he paid for that love. His men described him as "always in the lead." Not that day - my reckless ranger was the last one off the field, in the arms of Imrahil.

Searching for Faramir took me to Henneth Annun, where I discovered there was a challenge running to write *love* poetry in Denethor's voice. Denethor. He is a project of mine, warring with himself in my head - Denethor and himself as his own evil twin. I want to understand him. Could I put myself in that head?

I decided to try out my new passion for obsessive form poetry in that dark voice. If ever there was a voice for it, this seemed like it. And who was going to notice poetry? I decided to write him a terza, but typically, the old man wanted his own way.


As always, Faramir, my heart is with you on the field today. Because of you standing as my muse, I showed my words in public for the first time, last year on this day. Never let go of my hand. Oh yeah, and I was outed at HASA in less than a day, and encouraged to do this again. Gluttons for punishment they were at that time. I am so greatful that was the moment I chose. My first public outing, just as it ran...




Finduilas - villanelle

I knew my spirit could not take me higher
And yet I burned when I embraced your light
That’s when I gave my heart up to the fire

For in your depth was all that I require
And in that moment, as with second sight
I knew my spirit could not take me higher

I never understood about desire
Until I saw you were both dark and bright
That’s when I gave my heart up to the fire

And when our souls ignited on that pyre
I rose up like a phoenix; reached for flight -
I knew my spirit could not take me higher

I should have known that cruel fate would conspire
To take you from the arms of your true knight
That’s when I gave my heart up to the fire

I never understood about desire
Until you left me nothing but the night
I knew my spirit could not take me higher
That’s when I gave my heart up to the fire

*******

Author's notes:
When I decided to try to write a poem from Denethor's point of view, I thought I would work with the terzanelle form and try playing with the sound and repetition. But Denethor's voice is strong, and I was soon drawn into the even stricter structure of the villanelle - it seemed to me he wanted to use a form as formal as Gondor.

I am not sure I am convinced in my own heart that Denethor ever felt, or indeed was capable of feeling anything this strongly. So, this was quite an exercise for me. I don't think it is an accident I wrote a poem he would have written to address her loss, not to celebrate having her love.

"Finduilas" is written after her death (and with an edge of prophecy)
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  • 14 comments

  • Shall I shoot?

    I've mentioned before that there are things I understand (or think I understand) in Tolkien that I have just incorporated into myself without ever…

  • howard shaw

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