Burning Your Bridges

Author: Branwyn

Nominator: Raksha the Demon

2007 Award Category: Genres: Poetry

Story Type: Poetry  ✧  Length: N/A

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Soldiers destroy the last bridge at Osgiliath. [Note: though Boromir was in charge of the defense of Osgiliath, Faramir would be the logical person to oversee destruction of the bridge since he has been fighting as a partisan and presumably has more experience with demolition than Boromir has.]

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Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 7

Ooh, I just love this beautiful poem! I have no idea how it conforms to the conventions of poetry; but the narrative just sings (and roars, by turns), and pulls me with it all the way. It's like a battle-song, or a very short saga. The dark-light-flame motif is well-written; [trail of sparks], thrown torch, [light flares], [the river's black surface], etc. And the bit about the [dome of stars] is a great play on words with the meaning of Osgiliath's name itself. The poem manages to be both elegant and compelling; bringing the reader straight into the end of the battle for Osgiliath at Faramir's side. And Faramir's role in the battle is very credible; the poem easily conveys his physical effort and technical expertise. Branwyn's skill with all narrative forms continues to amaze and delight me. Lesser writers might take two thousand words to pack in so much punch along with the lovely language; but she manages to tie it all into a small but mighty package. (mixing metaphors here)

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 4

Very descriptive and "real" in its minute details, and yet there are touches of graceful imagery here and there (like the reminder of the craft of Númenor) and a sense of detachment, giving the poem a good balance (even if I can't recognise a specific rhyme scheme). Every sense is employed - sight, sound, smell, taste, touch - which makes the poem very vivid and three-dimensional.

Reviewed by: Chathol-linn  ✧  Score: 3

I liked the spare and vivid imagery of the night battle. The author’s use of fire imagery was very effective in contrast to the black pitch. The opening of this poem reminded me of the way Seamus Heaney begins his translation of Beowulf – urgent and immediately present. Nice job.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

Very sharp imagery, as we follow Faramir and Boromir in their flight from Osgiliath when the Enemy took it. This is an incident only briefly mentioned in canon, but the poet easily brings it to life.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

Another look at how it was that the last bridge of Osgiliath fell, as Faramir sees to its destruction while Boromir keeps the enemy at bay before all seek the safety of the river. I could feel the heat beating against my closed eyes.

Reviewed by: Lindelea  ✧  Score: 2

Am not much for poetry, but this was powerful, and the imagery flares like the flames it describes, burning into the imagination.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke  ✧  Score: 1

It's always interesting to see how writers imagine this undetailed moment from canon.