To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying,
The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying.
West, west away, the round sun is falling.
Grey ship, grey ship, do you hear them calling,
The voices of my people that have gone before me?
I will leave, I will leave the woods that bore me;
For our days are ending and our years failing.
I will pass the wide waters lonely sailing.
Long are the waves on the Last Shore falling,
Sweet are the voices in the Lost Isle calling,
In Eressëa, in Elvenhome that no man can discover,
Where the leaves fall not: land of my people for ever!
– JRR Tolkien, “Legolas’ Song of the Sea”
Okay, okay. It’s not the Sea exactly, but here’s a photo of the Menai Strait taken just outside the Creative Studies and Media building here at Bangor. Isn’t it just beautiful? The Menai Strait separates the island of Anglesey from the mainland of Wales. It’s also known for being one of the more dangerous stretches of water in the UK. We (the International Creative Studies and Media students) were warned the other day that the tides come in very fast here, and that so long as you heed public signs and stick to the beaches you should be okay, but don’t just stroll down to the Strait and hop on in or else “you’ll probably be on the news”. So. Won’t be doing that.
Also, fun fact because this blog does have a Tolkien title and I did just include a Tolkien poem: Sindarin, which is the form of Elvish spoken by Legolas (and the form that you hear 98% of the time in the Peter Jackson films) was modeled by Tolkien off of Welsh in terms of syntax and such.