In Denethor's Locked Cupboard: 1. Sestina and Haiku

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1. Sestina and Haiku

A/N: These were written in response to the HASA challenge positing that Denethor had a sheaf of really dismal poetry stuffed into a cupboard somewhere. Poem #1 is a sestina, one of many complicated and bizarre forms invented by the French troubadour Arnaut Daniel. It's supposed to have six and a half verses, and only six ending words, repeated in a precise order (a b c d e f --> f a e b d c) from verse to verse. Every line has ten or eleven syllables except for the first of each verse, which has seven.

It seemed appropriate for such a twisted individual as Denethor.


And the steward to his holding
Shall be as a steadfast tower of stone
That stands earthbound yet sees and knows the stars:
Reason his guide, not passion's clutching fist,
Casting out vain desires, imagined need,
Lest his work fail and long planning ravel.

Why, then, does my strength ravel
Under the knowing of one gaze holding
Mine? What's this impossible ache of need
I cannot voice? My throat is made of stone.
These eyes unman me as though they were fists.
No comfort the echoing glitter of the stars.

The cool pity of the stars
(The old songs praise) that tangled thoughts ravel
Does but mock my short breath and clenchéd fist.
Wherefore this - now - thus - me captive holding
When on me rests the fate of Gondor's stone?
I'll country keep - and to myself my need.


The drowning lacework
Of the mountain stream in spring
Remembers her tears

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Stultiloquentia

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Poetry

Rating: General

Last Updated: 07/12/04

Original Post: 10/02/02

Go to In Denethor's Locked Cupboard overview


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