Friday, April 1, 2016

April is Poetry Month (April 1, 2016)

April is Poetry Month

To start my contribution to Poetry Month and the Poetry Month Celebration, hosted by Hamlette at The Edge of the Precipice, I am going to indulge in a bit of shameless self-promotion.

As you can see, this blog is called The Once Lost Wanderer; the name is derived from two very different poems that are each special to me.

Once Lost is derived from the poem Amazing Grace by reformed slave trader John Newton. Of course, it is better known as a hymn, but it is indeed poetry and quite poignant. It resonates with me, because like Newton – I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.

Amazing Grace
John Newton (1725-1807)

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

Hence, Once Lost.

The Wanderer part comes from a poem by my favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien. It isn’t “fine poetry”. It isn’t Yeats, Keats, Byron, or Tennyson. But it is rather fun, and it has spawned a mantra among Tolkien fans – “Not all those who wander are Lost” Yeah, see where I’m going with this now? I was once lost, but now I’m not, but I still like to wander – sometimes through hidden places of Middle Earth or the courts of Imperial Russia, at other times over grand plantations of the antebellum South or the inner sanctum of a mad scientist’s laboratory, through deepest seas, farthest planets, and the occasional insane asylum.

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)
From The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
(A poem that Gandalf uses to describe Aragorn.)

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.


  1. I love that you took your blog title from literature, specifically poetry :-) Thanks for sharing these! My favorite line from the Aragorn poem is "A light from the shadows shall spring." So image-rich!

  2. I'm not religious in any way shape or form, but if anything was going to convert me, the hymn, Amazing Grace would be it. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for the power of the pentatonic scale :-)

    I love that you can mix it up with Tolkien too.

    1. Thanks Brona. There is a film called Amazing Grace, not specifically about Newton, though he has a part in it. I highly recommend the film.


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