Vain Songs, The: 7. Glass, Cut: VI

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7. Glass, Cut: VI

Note: Rúmil was the elven scholar who first devised a writing system for the elves in Aman, letters called the sarati (or Sarati Rúmilo.) For a long time, these were the standard mode of Elvish writing. Later, Fëanor became interested in scripts, and he modified the older work to produce the famous Fëanorian tengwar that was used by elves ever after. The greatest difference between the tengwar and sarati was that the script was written horizontally, from left to right, whereas Rúmil’s letters were written from top to bottom . Fëanor also reduced the number of variable elements, producing a simpler and more consistent set of characters. (from, Amanye Tenceli)



Rúmil knows about imperfection,
having made it.

Sitting under the harsh false glare of the
Tree-light strobes at the gaudy bustling Mulmin Caran
With women singing songs, trailing skirts, passing around Yavanna’s wine,
he broods into his glass (Fëanáro made it)
stained with green.

Ai, Mulmin Caran, Mulmin Caran
hall of mead and raucuous academia
where the ladies are red, the men are white
and everyone is debauched, steeped in modern poetry,
glugging jade cordial cheap at the price.

He broods into his glass. Fëanáro made it.
Fëanáro made it.

Fëanáro - (made you know what, and everyone’s using it
even the old fast set that raised one million free toasts
-- To wisdom! To learning! To the Beautiful Rune! --
None of whom now care for the wisdom
of letters
the depths. Those damned handsome seven sons,
have inveigled the generations
-- amazed, bamboozled them! –
into a left-right revolution, really, how martial.)

- blacksmith prince, smiling mysterious,
With your telco and your lúva,
I hate you. I hate you.

A tinkle. Light against glass.
Fëanáro made it. That thing, red and white and glazed flawless,
In here with his friends,
laughing, pouting harmlessly

gazing past people to his own likeness
Why, stop his preening
it’s disgusting
Just like the rest of them, oh no, oh Valar, oh just like I used to be.

He laughs. Thank you, Curufinwë, for teaching me a valuable lesson.
Gets up, lays a hand on Maitimo’s shoulder
in the looking-glass.


‘Improper deeds? Yes, once before,
An experiment in puberty
I’ve been lonely
(with those scripts)
Wanting to find my feet for a while, by mutual consent, naturally.

Laws are defunct anyhow really,
So terribly gauche. Fëanáro agrees, I believe
(although we don’t talk much,
well, blue-collar types)
These are heady days. Peace, love, music. Of course,
intellect is declining – everyone wants consistency and form --
Simplicity; and they call themselves the Noldor.
Tengwar vacuous idiots.’
Mutter, mutter.


Mutter mutter
His head stops buzzing as he smiles and whispers to Maitimo confused

picks him up
leads him home
commits the unspeakable
on the dim white bed across the shuttered dark window
right before the mirror
young Maedhros sees himself with a white man at his neck (for now)
reflected, and thinks, idly,
my father made it.

He commits the unspeakable unchanging day after day (Fëanáro made it)
but calls no names. Maedhros imperious, does him favours
learns quickly
shows himself out
comes back
not knowing why
(my father made it)
keeps coming back
captivated by his reflection
until he does not know one from the other, is utterly lost,
at least in the eyes of the one who best knows him

So Fëanáro finds Rúmil; trembling, ablaze,
scorches him with his words, breaking storms upon the deserted mountaintop
of shame and anger

and he turns away when Fëanor halts him,
voice choked, congestive sad desperation,
‘Rúmil, not with my child!’


mulmin caran: Quenya for ‘Red Mill’. Interesting coincidence: the French translation of ‘Red Mill’ is “Moulin Rouge”, which was the name of the infamous 19th century Bohemian club in Montmartre, Paris.

Curufinwë, Fëanáro: both Quenya given names of Fëanor. We have also here assumed that he was the first to make glass and implements from it.

‘telco’, stem; ‘lúva’, bow : Both components of the Fëanorian tengwar.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Ëarmírë

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Poetry

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 07/14/04

Original Post: 08/02/03

Go to Vain Songs, The overview


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