Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
I have written a whole chapter of a book to explain how and why Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings differs from Tolkien’s translation of The Red Book of Westmarch from the original Westron into modern English. My book was An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of J. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018). While you are waiting to read that fuller treatment, we can boil a good bit of the essence down into a sonnet:
THE QUEST MOTIF
What Lewis and Tolkien Knew, but Peter Jackson Does Not
Snaking out across the vast expanse
Of History and Legend lies a trail,
The footing treacherous, the markings pale,
And peril lies in wait for those who chance
To travel it. But if they can advance,
And if their luck and courage do not fail,
They may emerge into a mystic vale
And find the magic realm of fair Romance.
The landscape’s always changing. There is no
Map that can be trusted once you swerve
Aside; you only compass is your quest.
If, true to friend, implacable to foe,
You’re faithful to the Vision that you serve,
You’ll find that country which the Muse has blessed.
Remember: for more poetry like this, order Dr. Williams’s collected poetry, Stars through the Clouds, 2nd edition (Lantern Hollow Press, 2020) at https://smile.amazon.com/dp/173286800X?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860! And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Christian Publishing House, 2019)! Order from the publisher or Amazon.
Donald T. Williams, PhD