He walks among the greenèd bowers

Author: Dwimordene

Nominator: Dwimordene

2006 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Poetry - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Poetry  ✧  Length: Poem

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: After the war, the burden of memory demands a meaning. A non-traditional ballad.

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Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 10

It is really hard to know just what can be said about such a beautiful poem. I am sure that Eomer did have thoughts similar to this, when peace allowed him enough time for his head to stop spinning. In fact, the only other Ring War-era characters that I can think of who would have a similar experience is Faramir. (And Eowyn, obviously, but her traumas are similar to Eomer's.) It seems like at this point that the races of Middle-earth would have been used to battles but not so much to full-blown wars of the kind that would claim the lives of every member of your family in just a few short months. Here, Dwim gives Eomer a reflective voice and lets him pose the oh-so-difficult question of "why them and not me". In the end there really isn't an answer, and that is truly hard to live with because it makes the world seem that much more out of control. Middle-earth not having the developed religions that we do, I doubt Eomer would be thinking in terms of the theodicy problem, but he would certainly wonder in psychological terms, and maybe even wonder why the heck he had fought so hard if his sacrifices did not protect Theoden and Theodred (and even Eowyn, who at the end survives but I think is scarred by war in a way Eomer would rather have avoided)? As I said there aren't really any answers to be had, but Eomer's asking of that question has a suitably haunting quality that makes the loss seem palpably so -- even a little too real for this reader's comfort.

Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 5

This poem is amazing in its simplicity and depth. While I read this I can see Eomer walking between the burial mounds of Rohan while the simbelmyne guide him on his way while dancing on the wind. Dwim, you give Eomer's grief so much depth in this piece. It clearly shows that it will take a while before his pain of those he lost will lessen, but he also knows that he has a clear purpose and a his heritage to defend as the sole survivor of his line: ['Tis for him to see them sung: The price to pay, to be that one, To bear the cost of living won.] This ballad - rightly named- itself flows gracefully and makes you want to read it again. The choice of words is not overdone, but it portrays the mood of the character perfectly.

Reviewed by: Vana Tuivana  ✧  Score: 4

Wow, this poem is so full of emotion and power. The simple rhythm and rhyme scheme belie the seriousness of the topic: how to live life as a survivor, when other people, even family and friends, are killed. These lines, particularly, are resonant with grief: [The price to pay, to be that one, To bear the cost of living won.] The rhythm does seem a bit off in some of the lines, but the words ring so true that it scarcely matters. Great writing, and a beautiful poem.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 4

This poem, in beautifully sculpted couplets, pays tribute to both the fallen and to the living, and shows the heavy burden borne by the latter. To see Eomer's grief and guilt laid out so plainly was breathtaking, and the whole lent extra impact by the line at the bottom to indicate that it had been composed by his wife Lothiriel. Wonderful touch, which feeds into the whole concept of Arda being a real place, and what we see are mere translations.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

Certainly not the usual form of ballad sung by the Rohirrim, possibly, yet a marvelous song nonetheless, as we watch Eomer walk amongst the burial mounds remembering those he loved who lie here now. The imagery is fantastic, the song sad and yet triumphant. Dwimordene has surpassed herself.

Reviewed by: Jael  ✧  Score: 2

[Why these three gone, and not this one Who walks among the greenèd bowers? Why 'scaped he hale of all our sons?] Oh my! That was simply lovely! The sentiment struck me right in the solar plexis. Thank you!