Monday, May 11, 2009


And while we're on Karl Urban...

(Because, yes, we still are.)

...I have to say, though, that the actor whom I really loved in his Lord of the Rings character is Bernard Hill, who played King Theoden of Rohan. He got to recite the most beautiful lines -- lines that brought out the poetry, history and grief for things past or soon to pass away that permeate Tolkien's work. I especially love that part where he recites:

Where is the horse and the rider? where is the horn that was blowing?
They have passed like rain on the mountains, like wind in the meadow
The days have gone down in the west behind the hills into shadow

This is, of course, an adaptation of Tolkien's adaptation of The Wanderer, an Old English poem written (according to Wikipedia) in alliterative meter.

And now we come full circle to Karl Urban, who says his favorite line as Dr. Leonard McCoy in Star Trek is [the one I almost missed by going to the bathroom at the wrong moment]: "Space is full of disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence." He says he likes the line because it "encapsulates McCoy's perspective in a nutshell, and it has such a wonderful alliteration about it."

Speaking of which -- alliteration, that is, not Mr. Urban -- here's one of my favorite poems. I haven't got a clue what distinguishes a good poem from a bad poem, but I just like the way this one by Hilaire Belloc sounds.

Do you remember an Inn,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the bedding
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark veranda)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
Who hadn't got a penny,
And who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the din?
And the hip! hop! hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the swirl and the twirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of the clapper to the spin
Out and in--
And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!
Do you remember an Inn,
Do you remember an Inn?
Never more;
Never more.
Only the high peaks hoar;
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground,
No sound:
But the boom
Of the far waterfall like doom.


1 comment:

wotwot said...

beautiful poem gay. the meaning and the way it falls from the tongue and into the ear...