you must labour in the sea

Found in the unfinished novel The Notion Club Papers, this is the “The Death of St. Brendan” by J.R.R. Tolkien: At last out of the deep seas he passed, and mist rolled on the shore; under clouded moon the waves were loud, as the laden ship him bore to Ireland, back to wood and mire,Continue reading “you must labour in the sea”

no such thing as a pure wilderness in the whole universe

From The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies by Robert Kirk (1644-1692). (Find more here about Kirk and this work of his.) The first paragraph is my rewrite into modern English, and the next is the original spelling: Their bodies of congealled air are some times caried aloft. Other times they grovel in differentContinue reading “no such thing as a pure wilderness in the whole universe”

God is the Lord, of angels, and of men—and of elves

The lecture and essay “On Fairy Stories” by J.R.R. Tolkien is incredibly rich. I’ve just reread it and am only realizing this time how little I understand it. I’ve posted several portions of it in past years, but here is a comprehensive set of passages that I wish to reflect upon more when I can.Continue reading “God is the Lord, of angels, and of men—and of elves”

airy abeles set on a flare

The magi would have understood this imperative to look at the stars. Abeles (or white poplars) are a Eurasian salicaceous tree (Populus alba) having palmately (“like a palm with fingers extended”) lobed leaves covered on the underside with dense silvery-white hairs. Flares are “a fire or blaze of light used especially to signal, illuminate, orContinue reading “airy abeles set on a flare”