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J.R.R. Tolkien Recites “Namárië” Poem in Elvish


People have often commented on the genius of J.R.R. Tolkien, frequently citing the elaborate depths he went to when creating Middle-earth. Maps, languages, political systems, races – Tolkien’s level of detail allowed readers a deeper immersion into a fantasy world than any author before him. An excellent example – here is a rare recording of Tolkien in 1952, reading a Quenya (High-elven; one of the Elvish languages) poem from The Lord of the Rings.

Words (and translation, for us regular-eared human-folk) below:

“Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
mi oromardi lisse-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella , Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
ómaryo airetári -lírinen.

Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?

An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo
ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë,
ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë;
ar sindanóriello caita mornië
i falmalinnar imbë met, ar hísië
untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.
Sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!

Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
Nai elyë hiruva. Namárië!”

“Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind,
long years numberless as the wings of trees!
The long years have passed like swift draughts
of the sweet mead in lofty halls
beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda
wherein the stars tremble
in the voice of her song, holy and queenly.

Who now shall refill the cup for me?

For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the stars,
from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds
and all paths are drowned deep in shadow;
and out of a grey country darkness lies
on the foaming waves between us,
and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever.
Now lost, lost to those of the East is Valimar!

Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar!
Maybe even thou shalt find it! Farewell!”

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

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