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Samwise Gamgee understands the power of poetry and music

I have spoken many times about the power of poetry and music to express what words alone cannot.

Yesterday evening, as I was reading The Two Towers with my son, I came across this passage where Sam is asked about the beauty of Galadriel:

“The Lady of Lorien! Galadriel!” cried Sam. “You should see her, indeed you should, sir. I am only a hobbit, and gardening’s my job at home, sire, if you understand me, and I’m not much good at poetry–not at making it: a bit of a comic rhyme, perhaps, now and again, you know, but not real poetry–so I can’t tell you what I mean. It ought to be sung. You’d have to get Strider, Aragorn that is, or old Mr. Bilbo, for that. But I wish I could make a song about her. Beautiful she is, sir! Lovely! Sometimes like a great tree in flower, sometimes like a white daffodowndilly, small and slender like. hard as di’monds, soft as moonlight. Warm as sunlight, cold as frost in the stars. Proud and far-off as a snow-mountain, and as merry as any lass I ever saw with daisies in her hair in springtime. But that’s a lot o’ nonsense, and all wide of my mark.”

Indeed, for some things words alone are inadequate.

Some things ought to be sung.

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Cutlure, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and three children.

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Is there a biblical standard for judging beauty?

One Response to Samwise Gamgee understands the power of poetry and music

  1. .
    A Story, 
    A Dream

    Surreal it did Seem
    of what’s upon us
    the ominous theme 
    This… 
    Historical, Political, Allegorical Rhetoric …
    that’s so Critical.
    A Soul, a Fight , a Heart… It’s meant to Inspire,
    and Billy JOEL had it Right, we didn’t Start this Fire.
    An Admonition of Biblical Proportion.

    This Disposition 
    of Derision and Extortion 
    This Premonition… here to Report Em’
    Do we Fight…Or Support Em’? 
    “A Pickle”
    A Position of Unequivocal Distortion.
    The Relevant Decadence of the Present is Revelatory.
    It’s Imperative, 
    our Prevalence is Mandatory… 
    and the Essence of this Story.
    This Intimation is Sad and Scary
    Within a Nation 
    lies An Adversary..
    Of no Creation
    and contrary to public opinion
    Is of an evil dominion

    Slightly Biblical and yes…
    quite cyclical.

    An apocalyptic, cryptic, psychoanalysis 
    Of a cynic in psychic paralysis 
    Of blacklists’…
    red tagged activists, flame throwing activists’ 
    the declining number of rights that exist.
    A pants sagged populace
    that bragged of the crimes they’d commit
    A tall story, 
    Gory with Horror?
    It maybe Right
    it Maybe Wrong 
    Of Glory and Honor 
    to dissuade the Plight of the Strong? 
    Sons and daughters 
    A different age, 
    No space or time 
    Turn the page 
    A riffle…a portal 
    In the middle an Immortal war waged 
    A riddle 
    In between these Strange days 
    It Wasn’t the 90s
    The rage was inside this machine 
    Peeyuuh!
    Those with Pride, 
    Swallowed and consumed 
    Came out the other side  
    With a new view 
    One now ROSEY 
    I cried
    A big brother that’s real nosey
    within my soul a hole so wide
    War abroad, war inside 
    deep within, a deep divide
    From Sea to Sea
    A war on Sin, a war on Lies
    A foe Within our spacious Skies
    Right beneath our Eyes
    Right beneath Our fruited Planes.
    Malignant Cells in Remission
    They learned to Fly, 
    they Trained…
    Maniacal martyrs called to Commission 
    Innocence proclaimed with no contrition
    evil or insane 
    This mission of…
    Murdered and maimed 
    At helpless they took aim 
    in the name of religion
    they came in a jet fueled flame

    Anyplace, Anytime 
    Bigger weapons, bigger Crimes
    From I E D ees to chalk lines 
    Different Faces, different signs
    On the Walls, the written lines 
    hear the call, read between 
    Those some Called…
    Magnificent Sixteen.

    This Life, the Here After.  
    The Unseen Strife in this Chapter. 
    This Twisted Vision of future Distortion 
    Persisted with Precision
    These distorted rules we’d resorted to…
    Mass Abortion, Extortion, 
    was this my Home?
    Evil Rewarded…
    Was I Alone? 
    and could it be Thwarted?
    iPhones, Killer Clones, Death by Drones.
    and our taxes would Support It!

    My hands were tied, 
    i couldn’t Blink.
    We’re On the Brink, 
    Where’s the Praise?
    Let’s stop and Think 
    about that flag we Raise 
    What have we done to make sure she Stays?
    Ahh…these Latter Days. 
    There she Waves
    Land of the Free, home of the Brave.
    You Decide to be Free or Slave. 

    A Truth on Trial 
    a Nations Foundation 
    and the Denial
    the Exile

    Of how so many became so Few, 
    Of how so many…Never knew
    still gleaming?
    some never  find 
    those star’s and stripes
    or the meaning of what stands behind
    the red, white, and blue
    where blood was shed for me and you
    what is
    what was, 
    and what’s to come
    to the Right it would Set,
    Old Glory Waved in the Son,
    and Will soon Rise.
    What are we Willing to Compromise?

    Political Slips, Double Dips, tax Paid golf Trips
    Here’s the cool Aid, take a Sip.
    Some just Blind….
    Sideblinded
    The Rationalization
    behind the Factual Fascination 
    with the Fashion of a Kardashian
    The Emasculation of a Nation 
    in need of Wartime Preparation
    On the Line…is our Salvation
    Ignore, 
    or Inform of the coming storm that’s forming
    Let’s Warn a Generation Before their time of Desperation
    Before they Conform 
    to the Malicious Ambition of an enemy’s mission

    More Malevolent Evidence 
    to Emancipate the Freed
    My consolation to the names of those engraved,
    My country tis of Thee
    Remember Why they had to Bleed
    so we are free
    the ultimate sacrifice few can Supersede
    Now roll the dice,
    Or Live Righteously
    Some Pay the price Of Sin and Vice
    A Wrath Ahead? 
    Was still UnClear
    A future obscured
    The imprint left was one of Fear
    this utopian hell i endured
    One Path I’d Dread 
    we would not Steer
    No Fight, no Harm, no Logic Or Care
    Psychopharmalogical Warfare,
    gas hikes, labor strikes
    Homicide, Genocide, 
    a Drive By in the Night
    Right where i Reside
    Eye for an Eye
    i couldn’t Hide
    A Feat of Disambiguation
    to Defeat and Reantiquate a notion
    we can’t Complete
    lost our faith, and Devotion

    we can’t Compete
    we’ll Surrender or Retreat
    Rendered Obsolete
    Free will makes us Weak
    seen through the obese
    Lust and Greed 
    we get too much of what we Need

    Frivolous Litigation, 
    Constitutional Evolution and fiscal tribulation
    and Escalation of Half Truth’s
    Though there’s Proof…
    our Debts’ about to hit the Roof
    The Electorate Inspect For It, 
    but Truth on Paid Vacation. 
    An Aloof Display of Speculation

    Restitution from an invested few
    taken from the Destitute.
    riddled with Regulations…
    fees, tolls and reparations
    Revolution spoken throughout a Population
    No Interrogation, 
    Arrests or Investigation ..
    only interest
    Books Cooking,
    influenced Innocent Constituents,
     convinced by Those Crooks we Chose
    Just Took with no one Looking
    a Crime that some will See
    Yet Cannot Find 
    The enemy sublime 
    Not stars or Stripes,
    but the meaning 
    of what Stands Behind.
    She won’t Fall, 
    she Stands Tall
    Her justice shines so Bright for All…
    Liberty’s Call
    Divine is her Design, 
    a history she Defines.
    Beware the Uncertain 
    what some Might Find 
    Behind this Curtain….

    A Generations’ Declination,
    A flag, and it’s Desecration.

    Hurled into this World in Tribulation.
    My god
    was my fate near?
    In a fog …
    no date or year
    gog magog and the double edged sword
    my god…
    Faith or fear
    I Cried, 
    what was the year
    within my Soul a Hole so Wide 
    Infanticide, , Gas Hikes, 
    Homicide , Labor Strikes… 
    deep inside 
    A deep divide 
    The Genocide of men with Pride.
    A massive List of Assisted suicide.

    76six…the year i was born 
    the summer of kiss
    that fire, who started it?
     87even
    did it expire?…
    my brethren
     86Six, 911even..
    Metallica was mixed up in This?
    This master of Puppets.
    USA, USA …Some still Say.
    Benevolence Betrayed 
    by Whom They Shared.
    On TV’s they’d Stare… 
    the Overwhelming Despair.
    That destruction Displayed, 
    was somehow Outweighed…
    Nothing Compared with the selfless help shared that day.
    Over and Dover, 
    the Tape was Played…
    That One World Trade. 
    They Prayed, They Stayed…
    Those stubborn yanks were back to work in just two Days
    But also…
    Scared, Frightened, 
    security Heightened, borders Tightened 
    Not 84, Nor the Cold War…
    yet i Heard Rumors of More

    My Remorse for the Dead
    The numbers i would Dread.
    The riders on the Storm ahead
    Different Courses, Different Voices, 
    different Choices
    The Four Horses called for deployment 
    He’d offer his ties 
    Laughing with enjoyment 

    The author of lies 

    Unemployment, redeployment 
    Concerned by only the clairvoyant 
    Unnerved and insecure
    National Grid,  natural gas 
    A national Skidmark 
    on uncle Sam’s Underpants 
    a Future Obscured 
    National Bids yet nothing Heard 
    the growing threat
    a red dawn rising with no accord’s met

    government spies on the horizon
     
    Metadata sent their way
    verizon…Cia   n s a
    What more do I have to say
    Transparency Assured
    They See and Hear you’re every Word.
    all is shared, 
    all that’s said
    your nose hairs seen through infared
    …interference, intrusion
    a devised and improvised democratic illusion 
    Here to revise the constitution.
    A surprise solution,
    comprised of government pollution.
    A guise in appearance, 
    and hard to understand…
    With Clearance they See any Man…

     
    Sky Cams, Cyber Hacking, Eye Scans…
    whomever Deemed in Need of Tracking
    On mega charts they dissect your Chatter 
    …red marks a detected pattern
    The defected scattered
    …government spies on the horizon, 
    Another device lost to Verizon … 
    Too much leeway 
    Patriot acts with loopholes intact 
    …What’s before Me, what is…
    and what’s to Come.
    An there Old Glory Waved in the Sun.
    This… 
    Metaphorical, Patriotic Uncategorical, Symbolic Cypher.
    of an unidentified pied piper i would soon decipher
    …The Stars, the Stripes, 
    That once Shined so Bright
    Now Barred from Fights
    The visions that Night

    A lamb was crowned 
    From four corners to four winged beasts 
    From Dragon sounds,  
    To Locusts with teeth 
    It was profound to say the least

    A red dawn rising on the radar Warned 
    Quakes… cadavers,  storms
    On the wake of disaster 
    Prophesies form 
    USA USA some still Say 
    Some still pray 
    Betrayed by Whom They Shared
    On TV’s they’d Stare
    At the Overwhelming Despair
    That destruction Displayed 
    was somehow Outweighed… 
    Nothing Compared
    with the effort and Care,
    the the selfless help shared that day

    Over and Dover, 
    the Tape was Played…

    That One World Trade.
    They Prayed, They Stayed… 
    Those stubborn yanks 
    were back to work in just two Days 
    But also… Scared…Frightened, 
    security Heightened,… 
    borders Tightened.
    A look Inside… war Abroad, 
    and one Within 
    With a pen to change the Tide,
    to Fight and Win….
    the Fraud, the Plight 
    the Outlawed In sight
    It would Begin…
    this was my Time to Write In. 
    Different Places, different Faces.
    No space or time 
    AC DC, 
    A portal sublime 
    Ad bc
    Immortal and divine 
    Sharpened and Shined 
    By swords were defined 
    Bigger weapon’s, bigger Crimes,
    from ied’s to chalk lines
    None could Trace It.
    last to shoot, , first to loot
    My Mind could not Erase It. 
    By Any means,  any measure
    criminal syndicates sit in suit
    I pleasure they pursue

    These Elitists, Defeatists’ 
    History Beats… 
    where will they Lead Us?
    It’s Mystery Repeats
    The far East, 
    the motherland,  
    The middle east 
    The Son of man
    A prince of peace 
    A father and a promised land.

    I
    We 
    An Institution 
    A One voice Solution.
    I was Told of Contribution.
    And that Rock n Roll was Noise Pollution!

    A look Inside…
    WAR Abroad, 
    and one Within. 
    to change the Tide
    to Fight and Win…. 
    the Fraud, the Plight, 
    the Outlawed Insight 
    It would Begin… 
    this was my Time to Write In.

    These Elitists, Defeatists’ 
    History Beats… 
    where will they Lead Us?
    It’s Mystery Repeats

    Money Tracked…
    with no Fact or reason left Intact. 
    Monetary Mayhem,
    and how will we pay them.?
    More Malevolent Evidence Emancipate the Freed

    Big bank Buyouts, Blackouts and Droughts,
    Tapped Out and Trapped by Corporate Sharks.
    The Unfortunate left in the Dark.
    National Grid, natural gas
    or a Natural Skid Mark on uncle Sam’s Underpants.

    A Separation, a Dichotomy.
    A Nation’s Desperation for a Lobotomy.
    A War on our Spirit 
    A Warning of Hope 
    that More will Hear It.
    An evil Presence
    A Declaration of Dependents’.
    Half the country on Vacation,
    An Enemy… 
    that Seeks our Devastation.

    Those celestial stars in the Sky
    We’re still under his watchful Eye.
    A third fell, 
    the sun blackened 
    Obscured I fell
    The red moon fattened 
    An pure utopian hell
    Unsure if I’d come back to tell
    Beware
    The satellites 
    These sights i scoped ahead 
    nose hairs seen through infared
    evil creeps
    to slumber i fell
    I counted Sheep, 
    the thunder would quell
    I Counted Fifty and fell Asleep,
    as Did the Giant… 
    He’s say to me
    …“We no Longer need each other” 
    I’m Big Brother.
    I’m here for your Assistance, 
    To guide your Existence.
    He was large and Smelly,
    his Belt…
    WAY too small for that Belly.
    Machiavellian Regimes, Orwellian Themes, 
    Hidden Schemes, 
    It Wasn’t the 90’s,
    the rage was Inside this Machine. 
    Peeyuuh! 
    Those with Pride, 
    Swallowed and Consumed. 
    Came out the other Side with a New View…
    one now ROSEY.
    a big brother that’s nosey
    All son’s -all daughters
    pocket’s and posies
    “Here is your assistance.” 
    I ran and ran as fast as I Could
    to fight with the Resistance
    in the Woods
    Then i Understood that Robin Hood was still President
    Hindsight Prophesies became Evident.
    There she Went, 
    and there she was Found. 
    With a Movement called 
    the Underground
    She was there 
    upside Down, 
    In distress, but safe and Sound.
    Then before Me, on one Knee, 
    was Lady Justice.
    “‘This Must come to Pass
    and without Me,
    Peace will not Last.”‘
    She had a Frown
    ”your history do not Forget
    Write it Down
    before it’s Revised.
    For it is Despised
    by These Sheep with wolves’ Eyes.” Enemy in Disguise…
    Realize, with Real Eyes.
    Venomous ,Vile, Versatile… 
    Enemy with a smile

    Our Dissent, held in Contempt…
    No one here to Represent 
    They can’t Hide what they Resent… Reveal it!
    Or one day wonder where she Went… They’ll Steal It!
    Her values they’ll Re invent. 
    Shield it!
    Her triumph over big Government.
    The middle class,
    The Overtaxed, 
    a burden on their broken Backs.
    Money Tracked
    with no Fact or reason left Intact.
    Monetary Mayhem,
    and how will we Pay Them?
    The trusted Elect,
    the ones that Betray Them
    No one There to Represent
    only spies see Where it’s Spent
    What was the Chatter 
    these days of Late?
    Moral relativity,
    a Matter of Debate
    Elections,
    nuclear Inspections. 
    economic Projections, 
    Congressional Sessions,
    and a prolific Story for each One.
    Old Glory Waved in the Son, 
    to the Right it would Set,
    and Will soon Rise.
    What are we Willing to Compromise?
    Political Slips, Double Dips, 
    tax Paid golf Trips…
    Here’s the cool Aid, take a Sip.
    Some just Blinded…. 
    behind some kind of Rationalization
    Actually Cought up in a Factual Fascination
    With the Fashion of a Kardashian…
    A diversion
    The danger they’re masking 
    He’s coercive 
    Clever, cunning, and keen
    the enemy unseen
    an uneasy feeling
    an unending dream

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