I am Naked in the Dark, Sam

Author: Baillie From Bree

Nominator: Elanor

2009 Award Category: Genres: Poetry: Hobbits - Second Place

Story Type: Poetry  ✧  Length: N/A

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Frodo's growing isolation as he approaches Mount Doom and the increasing assaults of the Ring on his soul.

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Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 10

In the lines from which the title to this poem are taken, there is so much unsaid. Sam's simple questions drew forth from Frodo such a sorrowful answer, and here the poet explores what must have lay back of it in Frodo's mind at a time like that. Sam is calling Frodo to remember, to remember that which has driven both of them forward on this desperate journey, Frodo's very reason for taking step after step towards Doom. ["A voice comes knocking, knocking on the doorpost of my soul, Asking questions that I scarce can understand; His words are meant to comfort, words to cosset and cajole, But they crawl like wounded things upon the sand"] Poor Sam, not understanding how painful his simple questions are, and how they rake over Frodo's soul and mind, tortured by the Ring and the Burden it represents. As I read, I was reminded of Gollum, when Bilbo's simple riddles upset him, because they brought back his memories of the days before his Precious, when he walked under the sunlight unafraid. This was the worst thing the Ring did to its bearers-- to leach away the good memories, and leave them with no solace for their aching hearts except for its own malicious presence. This is one of the most heartbreaking and poignant scenes in the story, and the poet comes at it skillfully, echoing it and illuminating it for the reader in a poem that enhances the moment for the reader. I am very glad to have read this poem. It is absolutely beautiful.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 5

How can I speak to how this has moved me--through rhyme and meter and imagery and repetitions by Sam to break through the hollow sphere in which the Ring seeks to imprison Frodo's once bright spirit? A dramatic work, well and thoughtfully wrought. One that speaks to the hope and despair we carry deep in the recesses of our souls. A poem to read, then read again, to think on and contemplate. A poem that has truly spoken to me, and opened the door a bit to glimpse what Frodo's spiritual prison was like, and how Sam labored so hard to hold its door open for Hope still to light and cleanse it.

Reviewed by: Inkling  ✧  Score: 4

This is a powerful, heart-breaking and beautifully written poem. The author explores Frodo's inner torment during his struggle through Mordor with great effect and insight, as even sweet memories are, at best, wearying and, at worst, twisted into temptation by the Ring. The final, searing lines perfectly capture both the thread of hope and the overwhelming peril of the last days of the Quest.

Reviewed by: PipMer  ✧  Score: 4

This is another beautiful yet gut-wrenching poem by the very talented author. This poem explores how the Ring has taken Frodo's most soothing memories, and has dulled them to the point that Frodo no longer finds relief in them. But Sam is there, always there to help Frodo cling to whatever memories will give him the will and the hope to carry on with his quest. Wonderful poem, Baillie!

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 3

Frodo's speech that your title refers to is one of my favorites as he attempts to explain part of the mystical journey his soul was on and your attempt is another. Interesting. I love most his notice of Sam's presence and love.