Thursday, October 13, 2005

Her Sam

I have so many reviews to write and so little time in which to write them. Hopefully I'll have a couple more soon, but till then, I'll tide you over with another Tolkien poem. That's practically all I've been writing lately. The floodgates have opened! I adore Sam Gamgee. Generally not so crazy about Rosie, only because I'm jealous. Or because their relationship seemed far less developed than Sam and Frodo's.

But in reality, it wasn't. Set aside the movie version, in which Rosie's a barmaid who Sam has a crush on and can't get up the nerve to ask out until after he's returned from his quest. Please. Okay, there's some element of sweetness to that, but it goes back to everything that was wrong about Sam in the movie. He was not a wimp by any means, and he certainly would not have been afraid of Rosie. The way I read it, though she's mentioned very little, Rosie was his best friend. Their being together was as simple and beautiful and natural as everything about Sam, and Tolkien himself had the following to say:

"I think the simple 'rustic' love of Sam and his Rosie (nowhere elaborated) is absolutely essential to the study of his (the chief hero's) character, and to the theme of the relation of ordinary life (breathing, eating, working, begetting) and quests, sacrifice, causes, and the 'longing for Elves', and sheer beauty."

I am also drawn to this passage by L. M. Montgomery, describing a critical revelatory moment in one of my favorite fictional romances:

"Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one's life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; Perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend through quiet ways; Perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath."

There's nothing really to back up the idea, presented in my poem, of Rosie having multiple suitors. I imagine her actually as quite a homely lass. But I like the idea of her turning down the brightest and best in the land for her closest comrade, a simple, chubby, unremarkable gardener. Even if nobody else ever did express an interest in her, I am convinced that if they did, she would not have given them a second thought. Here's to true love in your own backyard.

Her Sam

Lovely Rosie, sweet as posies,
Cheerful, always charming.
Some hobbits might find just the sight
Of this lass disarming.

Fetching water, Tolman’s daughter
Also fetches gazes
From the fellows. Mild and mellow,
Rosie’s poise amazes.

Some are handsome. Some would ransom
Riches just for her hand.
Some are quite strong or strut along
As if they owned the land.

Some are clever. Rosie never
Treats them impolitely,
And yet their schemes touch not the dreams
She lingers over nightly.

She is bereft. Why her Sam left
She may not ever learn,
But still she copes with prayers and hopes
That he will soon return.

His pudgy frame will be the same,
His gentleness unchanged.
Perhaps he’ll bring a wedding ring
From someplace far and strange.

They’ll take a bow and seal their vow
Tenderly, with a kiss.
With joyful hearts, the two will start
A life of wedded bliss.

The games they played in golden glade
When they were very young
Will live again, and in the den
Splendid songs will be sung.

And in due time, the tots will climb
On Dad’s lap for a story,
And he will tell his tale so well,
Its sadness and its glory.

She’ll take her seat next to the feet
Of him whom she adores.
Her eyes ashine, she’ll think, “He’s mine,
And I loved him before.”

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