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"Idle Grievances" by Amy Fortuna

Author: Amy Fortuna
Title: Idle Grievances
Rating: G
Theme: Waiting
Elements: "But from Valmar no message came, and Manwë was silent. He would not yet either forbid or hinder Fëanor's purpose; for the Valar were aggrieved that they were charged with evil intent to the Eldar, or that any were held captive by them against their will. Now they watched and waited, for they did not yet believe that Fëanor could hold the host of the Noldor to his will."
Chapter 9: Of the Flight of the Noldor
Author's Notes: The sestina is one of my favourite forms of poetry and it was great fun to write this one about this particular sequence. In-universe, I like to think it was written by Maglor, either on the spot as they depart from Tirion, or shortly thereafter - in any case, before Alqualondë.
Summary: As the Valar wait, Fëanor departs from Tirion.
Word Count: ~350

Long in the Ring of Doom the Valar wait;
Their resentment means that they stay silent,
While in Tirion the Noldor say their farewell.
Relentlessly driven on by Fëanor's strength of will,
They take their leave of everything they love
And prepare to venture forth into the dark.

For a long while the Valar sit in the dark.
Even they do not know for what they wait.
Manwë refuses speech; he just stays silent.
Is this the best of ways to say farewell?
Are the Valar themselves silenced by Feanor's will?
Is this the way to treat people you claim to love?

The Eldar came to Valinor for protection and love,
And you will let them go alone, vulnerable, into the dark?
Why, oh Valar, do you hesitate, do you wait?
Your petty grievance shows you to be silent.
Rouse yourselves at least to say farewell!
Can you not help? Have you no will?

The Noldor will depart whether you will
Or not; they go because of their love -
Fëanor for his father and his jewels goes boldly into the dark.
He will not turn back, he will not hesitate or wait,
And Fëanor, above all else, will never be silent.
From bliss to woe they have come: the Noldor say farewell!

Manwë at last rouses himself to say farewell;
Refuses to aid them but lets them do as they will.
But in his message is not a hint of any love -
And Fëanor he exiles, for his Oath, into the dark.
Fëanor laughs at this: in bondage he would never wait,
But exile is nothing he had not chosen. He is not silent -

Fëanor, above all else, will never be silent.
He lifts his voice, bids the messenger farewell
Speaks to the people of his purpose and will:
He delays not in idle grief but goes for love -
His flame, greater than they know, will light the dark.
The Noldor depart, no longer will they wait.

The messenger, silent, returns to where the Valar wait.
"They are gone into the dark, led by Feanor's will.
They go for vengeance, and to thy love they say farewell."


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2016 04:26 pm (UTC)
Nicely done!
Jun. 21st, 2016 11:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Jun. 21st, 2016 08:43 pm (UTC)
Very nice!
Jun. 21st, 2016 11:07 pm (UTC)
Jun. 21st, 2016 09:36 pm (UTC)
You've deployed and interwoven your six keywords very tellingly!
I like especially: "Fëanor, above all else, will never be silent"--it seems very characteristic!
Jun. 21st, 2016 11:08 pm (UTC)
It's so true I wrote it twice! :)

Thanks very much!
Jun. 21st, 2016 10:29 pm (UTC)
Ah, so characteristic of Feanor in his burning pride, and so sad that the Valar must wait in a silence Feanor will not bow to.
Jun. 21st, 2016 11:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I think there's all kinds of perspectives on Fëanor's actions, and the Valar's lack of action here - it was fun to write some commentary on this particular bit of canon!
Jun. 22nd, 2016 01:26 am (UTC)
Excellent. I enjoyed the verse form.
Jun. 22nd, 2016 07:59 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Jun. 23rd, 2016 05:17 pm (UTC)
What a beautifully constructed sestina!

And in addition to its elegant construction, you have truly captured that part of the story in a very natural fashion!

Terrific work!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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