The Word ‘Hobbit’

Ripping good chaffy stuff here!!

Interesting Literature

The word ‘hobbit’ was supposedly invented by J. R. R. Tolkien. This fact both is and is not true. To explain why this is the case (or isn’t the case) we must do a bit of delving into the world of witchcraft …

hobbit1Tolkien’s book was published in 1937, but since the first part of the film has recently come out, the present moment seems like a good time to reflect upon the word that features in the title of Tolkien’s book. So where did it come from? The famous story is that Tolkien, while marking some of his students’ papers in Oxford one day, came to a blank sheet which had not a single word written on it. Out of nowhere – or so it seemed – he had a flash of inspiration, and hastily scribbled down the sentence, ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.’ That line…

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All this writing of reverse…

…Spenserians, I have finally (I think) ended the male body series with number ten, the last of which is a more or less standard Spenserian.

And, I believe perhaps, this is the one that causes me the most embarrassment.  I found myself blushing as I wrote this one–quite a comical picture, I may assure you.

To be sure, this was very definitely not the most embarrassing moment I have felt during this sonnet project.  I believe I have never been so embarrassed in my entire life as while writing the sequence which idolised me, myself, from the eyes and words of my sweet wife.  That was by far less theoretical, and hence, much, much more embarrassing.

Regarding the ending of the series, I say “I think” it is the last one in the series, because…  well… one never knows.  Embarrassing or not, it really is quite an intriguing subject, and does, from time to time, elicit moments of curiosity and reflection.

Even in cultures wherein such things were known quite openly to be commonplace, as in Ancient Rome, for example, there was still a bit of embarrassment among ordinary men regarding the subject.  Such things needed to be kept in proper perspective, after all!  Among the vast numbers of men–the great majority of which had no degree of unusual inclination or nature–even given that it might have been more common a subject at such times–such things would have been met with reticence, particularly when in the case of admitting such things personally. This kind of reticence spans all ages of the world, as far as I am able to discern, and even seems to be woven deep within our DNA perhaps, along with such inclinations as and of which we are capable.

And, of course, I am not speaking, or rather writing, of any of us less usual, such as today might be so labelled as one type or another.  Such people also were well known to those  as in my example of Ancient Rome.  Known and well understood, much as they are today, quite in contrast to the nature of the vast majority of us so glossed over, or perhaps, to re-purpose a common term of deconstruction: “marginalised.”

And…  I believe I have now said much more than I had at first intended, and certainly, even by Roman standards, far too much!!

Sonnet: Good Intentions

The face, within the mirror, shan’t display
The visage of a monster? Nay; but, who
Might set out to discover what is true;
Not planning to destroy; nor ever stray

From good. His mild manner could allay,
And ever would his good intent undo,
Near any fear or doubt he’d not renew
His Godly pledge; and never disobey.

He,  to the mirror, says: “I shan’t forget
That I, this day, shall take this world, unclean,
And, of it, make a better place.”  Foretell
Ye; face with horror; watch his silhouette
Perform those actions sure to bring, unseen,
Into reality, the road to Hell.