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Bombadil and the Piper at The Gates of Dawn


Jul 4 2013, 12:44pm

Views: 190
Bombadil and the Piper at The Gates of Dawn Can't Post

To shorten the story somewhat: I was looking back at Grahame's (orig. "Greyhame"?) 'Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' chapter from 'Wind In The Willows' and I was wondering if the Piper was a "kindred spirit" (pun intended) to Bombadil.

Not wanting to re-open the Bombadil debate but, if we take Tolkien at his word, Bombadil is "the vanishing Spirit of the English countryside". Like Grahame's Piper he comes to the aid of creatures in the Wood and leaves them asleep, forgetting their troubles.

Lots of differences, of course. The Piper considers his parting gift to be forgetfullness so that the beneficiary will not be troubled afterward by memory (however pleasant) of something from the Other Side but even that reminds us of Tolkien. One of Frodo's burdens at the end is the fact that he can never completely forget his experience of what The Professor might have called "the numinous".

I'm not suggesting a conscious borrowing; just noting some similarities. Apparently Grahame's book was among the few contemporary works that Tolkien liked but I'm inclined to think it was more a similar sensibility than any particular literary qualities.

Subject User Time
Bombadil and the Piper at The Gates of Dawn dijomaja Send a private message to dijomaja Jul 4 2013, 12:44pm
    I see what you mean to some extent elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Jul 4 2013, 6:56pm
    Spirits of the countryside Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Jul 4 2013, 7:33pm
        agreed dijomaja Send a private message to dijomaja Jul 5 2013, 10:45am
    Never thought of that Fredeghar Wayfarer Send a private message to Fredeghar Wayfarer Jul 8 2013, 12:52am
        good point dijomaja Send a private message to dijomaja Jul 11 2013, 10:56am


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