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ravenous reader

POEMS (or other sundry quotes) that remind you of ASOIAF

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On 10/27/2017 at 8:48 PM, Blue Tiger said:

Speaking of the Sea...

From The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien:

***

Beautiful rendition of this lay by Clamavi De Profundis:

 

@ravenous reader, congratulations on your new blog (Unchained showed it to me on Twitter, where I dwell these days)... I took a break from The Forums, and much has changed.... I've returned to Tolkien, and I'm planning to write a whole series on ASOIAF/Tolkien conncections. I've had long discussions with LML on this topic - Numenor and The Great Empire of the Dawn, Minas Morgul/Minas Ithil, Luthien and Sansa, Sauron and The Bloodstone Emperor, Earendel and The Sword of the Morning... I've read Nietzsche, Jung and some Freud, and finally, those Graham Hancock books LML recommends... and most importantly, The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer and The White Goddess by Robert Graves. I'm overflowing with new ideas, and all deserve their own essays. Meanwhile, I'm translating LML's works.

By the way, are you familiar with @Darry Man's essays about The Symbolic Significance of Ebony & Persimmon in ASOIAF and A Tragedy of Ice and Fire?

Hi Niebieski, it's nice to hear from you and that you're enjoying your reading (quite impressive!)  Thank you for that beautiful song and video -- I really enjoyed it!

It reminds me of this lovely passage from ASOIAF as well as a poem by Tennyson, to follow --

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Catelyn IV

Let the kings of winter have their cold crypt under the earth, Catelyn thought. The Tullys drew their strength from the river, and it was to the river they returned when their lives had run their course.

They laid Lord Hoster in a slender wooden boat, clad in shining silver armor, plate-and-mail. His cloak was spread beneath him, rippling blue and red. His surcoat was pided blue-and-red as well. A trout, scaled in silver and bronze, crowned the crest of the greathelm they placed beside his head. On his chest they placed a painted wooden sword, his fingers curled about its hilt. Mail gauntlets hid his wasted hands, and made him look almost strong again. His massive oak-and-iron shield was set by his left side, his hunting horn to his right. The rest of the boat was filled with driftwood and kindling and scraps of parchment, and stones to make it heavy in the water. His banner flew from the prow, the leaping trout of Riverrun.

Seven were chosen to push the funereal boat to the water, in honor of the seven faces of god. Robb was one, Lord Hoster's liege lord. With him were the Lords Bracken, Blackwood, Vance, and Mallister, Ser Marq Piper . . . and Lame Lothar Frey, who had come down from the Twins with the answer they had awaited. Forty soldiers rode in his escort, commanded by Walder Rivers, the eldest of Lord Walder's bastard brood, a stern, grey-haired man with a formidable reputation as a warrior. Their arrival, coming within hours of Lord Hoster's passing, had sent Edmure into a rage. "Walder Frey should be flayed and quartered!" he'd shouted. "He sends a cripple and a bastard to treat with us, tell me there is no insult meant by that."

"I have no doubt that Lord Walder chose his envoys with care," she replied. "It was a peevish thing to do, a petty sort of revenge, but remember who we are dealing with. The Late Lord Frey, Father used to call him. The man is ill-tempered, envious, and above all prideful."

Blessedly, her son had shown better sense than her brother. Robb had greeted the Freys with every courtesy, found barracks space for the escort, and quietly asked Ser Desmond Grell to stand aside so Lothar might have the honor of helping to send Lord Hoster on his last voyage. He has learned a rough wisdom beyond his years, my son. House Frey might have abandoned the King in the North, but the Lord of the Crossing remained the most powerful of Riverrun's bannermen, and Lothar was here in his stead.

The seven launched Lord Hoster from the water stair, wading down the steps as the portcullis was winched upward. Lothar Frey, a soft-bodied portly man, was breathing heavily as they shoved the boat out into the current. Jason Mallister and Tytos Blackwood, at the prow, stood chest deep in the river to guide it on its way.

Catelyn watched from the battlements, waiting and watching as she had waited and watched so many times before. Beneath her, the swift wild Tumblestone plunged like a spear into the side of the broad Red Fork, its blue-white current churning the muddy red-brown flow of the greater river. A morning mist hung over the water, as thin as gossamer and the wisps of memory.

Bran and Rickon will be waiting for him, Catelyn thought sadly, as once I used to wait.

The slim boat drifted out from under the red stone arch of the Water Gate, picking up speed as it was caught in the headlong rush of the Tumblestone and pushed out into the tumult where the waters met. As the boat emerged from beneath the high sheltering walls of the castle, its square sail filled with wind, and Catelyn saw sunlight flashing on her father's helm. Lord Hoster Tully's rudder held true, and he sailed serenely down the center of the channel, into the rising sun.

"Now," her uncle urged. Beside him, her brother Edmure - Lord Edmure now in truth, and how long would that take to grow used to? - nocked an arrow to his bowstring. His squire held a brand to its point. Edmure waited until the flame caught, then lifted the great bow, drew the string to his ear, and let fly. With a deep thrum, the arrow sped upward. Catelyn followed its flight with her eyes and heart, until it plunged into the water with a soft hiss, well astern of Lord Hoster's boat.

Edmure cursed softly. "The wind," he said, pulling a second arrow. "Again." The brand kissed the oil-soaked rag behind the arrowhead, the flames went licking up, Edmure lifted, pulled, and released. High and far the arrow flew. Too far. It vanished in the river a dozen yards beyond the boat, its fire winking out in an instant. A flush was creeping up Edmure's neck, red as his beard. "Once more," he commanded, taking a third arrow from the quiver. He is as tight as his bowstring, Catelyn thought.

Ser Brynden must have seen the same thing. "Let me, my lord," he offered.

"I can do it," Edmure insisted. He let them light the arrow, jerked the bow up, took a deep breath, drew back the arrow. For a long moment he seemed to hesitate while the fire crept up the shaft, crackling. Finally he released. The arrow flashed up and up, and finally curved down again, falling, falling . . . and hissing past the billowing sail.

A narrow miss, no more than a handspan, and yet a miss. "The Others take it!" her brother swore. The boat was almost out of range, drifting in and out among the river mists. Wordless, Edmure thrust the bow at his uncle.

"Swiftly," Ser Brynden said, He nocked an arrow, held it steady for the brand, drew and released before Catelyn was quite sure that the fire had caught . . . but as the shot rose, she saw the flames trailing through the air, a pale orange pennon. The boat had vanished in the mists. Falling, the flaming arrow was swallowed up as well . . . but only for a heartbeat. Then, sudden as hope, they saw the red bloom flower. The sails took fire, and the fog glowed pink and orange. For a moment Catelyn saw the outline of the boat clearly, wreathed in leaping flames.

Watch for me, little cat, she could hear him whisper.

Catelyn reached out blindly, groping for her brother's hand, but Edmure had moved away, to stand alone on the highest point of the battlements. Her uncle Brynden took her hand instead, twining his strong fingers through hers. Together they watched the little fire grow smaller as the burning boat receded in the distance.

And then it was gone . . . drifting downriver still, perhaps, or broken up and sinking. The weight of his armor would carry Lord Hoster down to rest in the soft mud of the riverbed, in the watery halls where the Tullys held eternal court, with schools of fish their last attendants.

 

 

Crossing the Bar 

 

Sunset and evening star, 

      And one clear call for me! 

And may there be no moaning of the bar, 

      When I put out to sea, 

 

   But such a tide as moving seems asleep, 

      Too full for sound and foam, 

When that which drew from out the boundless deep 

      Turns again home. 

 

   Twilight and evening bell, 

      And after that the dark! 

And may there be no sadness of farewell, 

      When I embark; 

 

   For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place 

      The flood may bear me far, 

I hope to see my Pilot face to face 

      When I have crost the bar. 

 

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

 

 

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14 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Hi Niebieski, it's nice to hear from you and that you're enjoying your reading (quite impressive!)  Thank you for that beautiful song and video -- I really enjoyed it!

It reminds me of this lovely passage from ASOAIF, as well as a poem by Tennyson, to follow --

Thanks for sharing that poem RR! 

Quote

 

Let the kings of winter have their cold crypt under the earth, Catelyn thought. The Tullys drew their strength from the river, and it was to the river they returned when their lives had run their course.

They laid Lord Hoster in a slender wooden boat, clad in shining silver armor, plate-and-mail. His cloak was spread beneath him, rippling blue and red. His surcoat was pided blue-and-red as well. A trout, scaled in silver and bronze, crowned the crest of the greathelm they placed beside his head. On his chest they placed a painted wooden sword, his fingers curled about its hilt. Mail gauntlets hid his wasted hands, and made him look almost strong again. His massive oak-and-iron shield was set by his left side, his hunting horn to his right. The rest of the boat was filled with driftwood and kindling and scraps of parchment, and stones to make it heavy in the water. His banner flew from the prow, the leaping trout of Riverrun.

(...)

The seven launched Lord Hoster from the water stair, wading down the steps as the portcullis was winched upward. Lothar Frey, a soft-bodied portly man, was breathing heavily as they shoved the boat out into the current. Jason Mallister and Tytos Blackwood, at the prow, stood chest deep in the river to guide it on its way.

Catelyn watched from the battlements, waiting and watching as she had waited and watched so many times before. Beneath her, the swift wild Tumblestone plunged like a spear into the side of the broad Red Fork, its blue-white current churning the muddy red-brown flow of the greater river. A morning mist hung over the water, as thin as gossamer and the wisps of memory.

(...)

The slim boat drifted out from under the red stone arch of the Water Gate, picking up speed as it was caught in the headlong rush of the Tumblestone and pushed out into the tumult where the waters met. As the boat emerged from beneath the high sheltering walls of the castle, its square sail filled with wind, and Catelyn saw sunlight flashing on her father's helm. Lord Hoster Tully's rudder held true, and he sailed serenely down the center of the channel, into the rising sun.

 

Indeed, this ASOS passage is very reminiscent of Tolkien's description of Boromir's funeral in The Two Towers. Who knows, maybe Hoster's wake was directly inspired by that scene - or, Scandinavian Viking customs and traditions concerning the burial of kings and warriors....

Quote

From The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien:

Taking his axe the Dwarf now cut several branches. These they lashed together with bowstrings, and spread their cloaks upon the frame. Upon this rough bier they carried the body of their companion to the shore, together with such trophies of his last battle as they chose to send forth with him. It was only a short way, yet they found it no easy task, for Boromir was a man both tall and strong.

(...)

Now they laid Boromir in the middle of the boat that was to bear him away. The grey hood and elven-cloak they folded and placed beneath his head. They combed his long dark hair and arrayed it upon his shoulders. The golden belt of Lórien gleamed about his waist. His helm they set beside him, and across his lap they laid the cloven horn and the hilts and shards of his sword; beneath his feet they put the swords of his enemies. Then fastening the prow to the stern of the other boat, they drew him out into the water. They rowed sadly along the shore, and turning into the swift-running channel they passed the green sward of Parth Galen. The steep sides of Tol Brandir were glowing: it was now mid-afternoon. As they went south the fume of Rauros rose and shimmered before them, a haze of gold. The rush and thunder of the falls shook the windless air.

Sorrowfully they cast loose the funeral boat: there Boromir lay, restful, peaceful, gliding upon the bosom of the flowing water. The stream took him while they held their own boat back with their paddles. He floated by them, and slowly his boat departed, waning to a dark spot against the golden light; and then suddenly it vanished. Rauros roared on unchanging. The River had taken Boromir son of Denethor, and he was not seen again in Minas Tirith, standing as he used to stand upon the White Tower in the morning. But in Gondor in after-days it long was said that the elven-boat rode the falls and the foaming pool, and bore him down through Osgiliath, and past the many mouths of Anduin, out into the Great Sea at night under the stars.

I think that it's important to try to find those more metaphorical, symbolic, archetypal and thematic paralels between GRRM's books and other masterpieces of literature/poetry. Right now I'm working on an essay focusing on such similarities, as I find obvious, 1:1 nods and references too boring... Ser Gladden Wylde, Elron of the Night's Watch, Sauron Salt-tongue, certain sigils and houses... I think that GRRM puts them in there just to point the reader in the right direction - to search for deeper, hidden meanings, we have to be sure, or at least nearly certain that George's read book X or is familiar with author Y.

These simple nods and homages - to Tolkien, Lewis, Joyce, Shakespeare, Jordan, Wells, various other authors and works, history, mythologies, astronomy - tell us that 'GRRM knows this subject'. Then, we can start to wonder - 'ok, he knows Tolkien, but what now? What does it mean? Why does he reference him in chapter X or scene Z? What's the narrative purpose? Foreshadowing? A reponse? A commentary?

Right now I'm writing essay on this topic, focusing on paralels (not 1:1 copies, which GRRM never puts into his books!) between GRRM and JRRT... when the first text is ready, should I send it to you?

***

And here's a poem I find quite similar in tone to Tennyson's...

'I Sit Beside the Fire and Think', by J.R.R. Tolkien:

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;
 
Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.
 
I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.
 
For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.
 
I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.
 
But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door

 

 

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10 hours ago, Blue Tiger said:

Thanks for sharing that poem RR! 

Indeed, this ASOS passage is very reminiscent of Tolkien's description of Boromir's funeral in The Two Towers. Who knows, maybe Hoster's wake was directly inspired by that scene - or, Scandinavian Viking customs and traditions concerning the burial of kings and warriors....

A note on Riverrun :

Quote

What does the first sentence of Finnegans Wake mean?

 
Bill   Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:04 am GMT
Riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. 

This sentence is the very first one of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. I am quite confused by its meaning, factual or figurative alike. Cry for help.
Josh Lalonde   Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:04 pm GMT
"Finnegan's Wake" is notoriously opaque. If English isn't your first language, I wouldn't recommend it. I certainly don't understand the vast majority of it. Here's my shot at translation: 

The river runs past Adam and Eve's home, by the shore and around the back to Howth Castle and its surroundings. 

I have no idea what a "commodius vicus of recirculation" is.
Liz   Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:19 pm GMT
Finnegans Wake is an experimental novel full of puns which require some background knowledge and an exquisite sense of abstraction. That´s the reason why it´s extremely difficult to decipher the meaning behind these twisted words and sentences even if you happen to be a native speaker of English. It obviously isn´t a novel that I´d recommend you to read for fun. However, it could be fun if you like these kind of things. (Being a student of literature and linguistics, I had the chance of getting acquianted with this piece.) 

Well, I´m not sure, but: 

Riverrun: can be a noun and a verb phrase as well (riverrun vs. river run) 

past: again either a noun (past) or the simple past form of the verb "pass" (passed, but pronounced exactly as "past" 

Adam and Eve: that´s a church in Dublin (I´m not sure if Joyce is referring to it), on the other hand, legend has it that they are our ancestors, thus: 

Either: passed Adam and Eve´s Church 
Or: Adam and Eve´s past 

from swerve of shore to bend of bay: it´s sort of self-explanatory I reckon 

a commodius vicus of recirculation: I can´t quite put my finger on that particular expression. I assume that "vicious circle" is implied here, among several other possible connotations. Besides, "vicus" could be a(n oblique) reference to Giambattista Vico, who was known of his circular view of history. (~ back to Adam and Eve, basically) "Commodius" might refer to "commodious". "commodius vicus" has the same short form as "curriculum vitae" that is CV, so it might refer to the course of life or history. 

I´m not sure I get the meaning right, that´s just my interpretation.
Mysteryman   Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:16 pm GMT
Bill, the river Liffey weaves past Adam and Eve's church and eventually, after taking a round about route, passes Howth castle (or thereabouts). Is that good enough for you?
Bill   Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:25 am GMT
It makes much better sense to me. Indeed, I am hesitant to read such a novel, as Liz said. I appreciate your help, Josh Lalonde, Liz, Mysteryman!
Aleister93   Sat Oct 20, 2007 7:25 pm GMT
As Robert Anton Wilson pointed out in "The Illuminatus Papers", the speaker in FW is obsessed with exctretory functions, so I'd call it obvious that "commodius" is amont other things, a pun on "commode," meaning toilet. also, the water in a commode moves in a circular fashion.... 

As for "vicus": 

In the history of the Roman empire, a vicus (pl. vici) was an ad hoc provincial civilian settlement that sprang up close to and because of a nearby official Roman site, usually a military garrison or state-owned mining operation. 

The vici differed from the planned civilian towns (civitates) that were laid out as official, local economic and administrative centres, the coloniæ which were settlements of retired troops, or the formal political entities created from existing settlements, the municipia. 
(wikipedia entry) 

"vicus" may also refer to Giambattista Vico (1668-1744). Vico believed in a theory of cyclical history. He believed that the world was coming to the end of the last of three ages, these being the age of gods, the age of heroes, and the age of humans. This opening also contributes to the effect of Joyce's novel as a whole, since it begins and ends with "riverrun" on the lips. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnegans_Wake

 

 

Quote

I think that it's important to try to find those more metaphorical, symbolic, archetypal and thematic paralels between GRRM's books and other masterpieces of literature/poetry. Right now I'm working on an essay focusing on such similarities, as I find obvious, 1:1 nods and references too boring... Ser Gladden Wylde, Elron of the Night's Watch, Sauron Salt-tongue, certain sigils and houses... I think that GRRM puts them in there just to point the reader in the right direction - to search for deeper, hidden meanings, we have to be sure, or at least nearly certain that George's read book X or is familiar with author Y.

These simple nods and homages - to Tolkien, Lewis, Joyce, Shakespeare, Jordan, Wells, various other authors and works, history, mythologies, astronomy - tell us that 'GRRM knows this subject'. Then, we can start to wonder - 'ok, he knows Tolkien, but what now? What does it mean? Why does he reference him in chapter X or scene Z? What's the narrative purpose? Foreshadowing? A reponse? A commentary?

Right now I'm writing essay on this topic, focusing on paralels (not 1:1 copies, which GRRM never puts into his books!) between GRRM and JRRT... when the first text is ready, should I send it to you?

 

Please do, BT, I would love to read it -- even though I am not an expert on J RR T, although I'm an RR too...:)

Quote

 

***

And here's a poem I find quite similar in tone to Tennyson's...

'I Sit Beside the Fire and Think', by J.R.R. Tolkien:

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;
 
Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.
 
I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.
 
For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.
 
I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.
 
But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door

 

 

That's beautiful.  It reminds me of Milan Kundera's concept of 'tesknota', as exemplified by Yeats:

 

When You Are Old 

When you are old and grey and full of sleep, 
And nodding by the fire, take down this book, 
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look 
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; 
 
How many loved your moments of glad grace, 
And loved your beauty with love false or true, 
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, 
And loved the sorrows of your changing face; 
 
And bending down beside the glowing bars, 
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled 
And paced upon the mountains overhead 
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars. 
 
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS


 

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15 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

That's beautiful.  It reminds me of Milan Kundera's concept of 'tesknota', as exemplified by Yeats:

Who's Milan Kundera? Tęsknota = longing in Polish.

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