Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Seven Falls

Author: Dawn Felagund
Nominator: Rhapsody
2009 Award Category: Genres: Poetry - Third Place

Story Type: Poetry : Length: N/A
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: violence
Summary: The final fight between Melkor and Finw at Formenos. A sestina.


Reviewed by: Rhapsody -- Score: 7

Besides the perfect execution of the technical challenge of writing this sestina, Dawn crafted a hauntingly, daring and complex poem, a dance if you'd like of Finw and Melkor, written from the perspective of the latter. It is a chilling read how Finw valiantly defends himself at all cost, appearing to be just a toy as Melkor cloys with him. Yet, if you let this poem sink in for a bit and return to it, you will also realise the great amount of foreshadowing in this piece, the seven falls versus the seven blows and wounds Finw's valiant son Fingolfin will bring to him with the blade Ringil. Of course the number seven also refers to other things in Tolkien's world, but in this poem it feels good to know that Fingolfin will wound Melkor seven times to (unknowingly) avenge his father. This poem gives you a creepy insight in Melkor's mind and intent, and yet also brings across the action in a vivid way and this all in a strict meter and form. Well done Dawn!

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 6

I'm very impressed indeed with this piece. The strictness of form gives a very good, solid frame for this poem, and is handled in such a way as not to feel contrived. You have chosen those end of line words very wisely, even just taken on their own they give an impression of what the whole thing is about. The imagery is excellent, and the motif of planting with the different connotations particularly memorable. It's a stark and edgy and very haunting poem. The final triplet with the image of the seed that has fed on blood is both beautiful and terrible. Overall, the language is both archaic and innovative at the same time. What a thrilling picture this give of the specific event and of Morgoth's twisted personality in general. Exquisitely done!

Reviewed by: Ithilwen -- Score: 5

Few people in this fandom write much poetry; even fewer do it well. This is one of the best pieces I've read anywhere. The form is perfect for the subject matter, with the shortness of the final triplet (in contrast to the earlier six-line stanzas) driving home the abruptness of Morgoth's killing blow. Even better, though, is the way you show Morgoth sadistically toying with his victim, pretending to 'fall' over and over just to build up Finwe's hopes in order to dash them repeatedly, and the Morgoth's use of his tongue as a sword even more deadly than the weapon he holds in his hands. And you manage to make Finwe's growing exhaustion as the fight grinds to its inevitable conclusion almost palpable. Marvellous!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 5

First of all: Sestinas are HARD to write! And yet I love them, as I tend to love structured poetry. It takes effort and skill to work within the constraints of the poetic form and yet make it flow, to keep the language from sounding stilted with the required end-line repetitions of the chosen words. It is NOT easy! And then, to tell a story in that form? A story that sounds natural and real? And to hold the reader's attention to that story in spite of the artificial structure? To convey the personalities of those in the story? To tell it in the voice of the villain of the piece? Dawn, this is an amazing accomplishment! *APPLAUSE!*

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

This is an extraordinarily well-crafted poem that manages to convey Morgoth's power and sheer seeping evil, and the pathos of Finwe's courageous but doomed stand against him, within the strictures of a sestina. The rhythm suits Morgoth's character well, the ghastly elegance of his manipulation and his determination to not only win, but win gracefully over the brave Noldor King.

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel -- Score: 3

Dawn's poetry is absolutely stunning. I confess that I know very little about this particular form, but I think she's done a phenomenal job with re-casting and expanding upon this particular bit of Tolkien's canon in poetic form.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

Ah, Dawn--such a fantastic poem, and from what a point of view! Alas for Finwe, to face such an invader and thief in the home of his beloved firstborn son, and to fall to it. Melkor's dark triumph is so well described and expressed! Truly a poem to savor, its wording and rhythms compelling and tragic. Excellent!

Reviewed by: Fiondil -- Score: 3

A rather interesting interpretation of the confrontation between Melkor and Finwe set in poetic form. The sestina is not an easy form to master but Dawn appears have done so with brilliant imagery and all from the point of view of Melkor. His nastiness comes through very well.