Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Shadow of Smeagol

A poem about Smeagol, one of literature's most tragic characters...

The Shadow of Smeagol

He sneaks and scuttles sulkily about,
A creature cowering beneath the weight
Of emptiness. He cannot live without
The object of his longing – and his hate.

The token is a treasure, forged of gold
Commingled with the lifeblood of a king
Whose terror reigned in centuries of old.
His power lies within this tiny ring.

Now wretched, withering away, the wild-
Eyed wanderer is desperate to reclaim
The precious gift that left him so beguiled
And took away his comrade and his name.

“Nice hobbit,” Gollum sighs. He sees a shade
Of Deagol, who he murdered and he loved,
In Frodo. Both elated and afraid,
He trembles as old Smeagol, too long shoved

Aside, emerges. Memories creep in
And cast away the cobwebs in his mind.
The years of agony stretched him so thin,
He had forgotten what he left behind...

...gently sloping fields of windswept grain skies with wispy clouds of white
...crystal streams sustained by summer rain
...sparkling stars that shone throughout the night

...smoke-rings drifting off across the hills
...riddle contests lasting all night long
...pastries cooling on the windowsills
...taverns filled with merriment and song...

Above these images, his memory
Is overwhelmed with feelings long ignored.
Compassion, tenderness, fraternity...
Love’s purity pierces him like a sword.

For many years, obsession is the sole
Emotion he has known. This newfound light
Is blinding as it seeps into his soul.
He backs away and leaps in joy and fright.

“You stay back!” Samwise shouts, awakened by
The sudden movement. “Back, you stinking thing!”
The creature Gollum shrinks back with a cry
As Smeagol scampers off. The golden ring

Rests safely on the dozing Frodo’s chest.
Sam watches Gollum narrow-eyed, annoyed
By his intrusion. Gollum, gazing west,
Sighs. Sam will never know what he destroyed.

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