I love words. By slightly modifying a word or moving its position in a sentence, the meaning of the passage can be completely changed.
For me, reading is like viewing art. Each word a stroke of paint or a musical note. Each punctuation a defining line on a character's face or dramatic pause in a melody.
And it never gets old. Even when I reread my favorite books, it is like visiting a museum already visited.
There is always something I didn't see before, or because of my life's journey I can appreciate the piece in a different way.
So when I was reminded of one of my favorite poems today, I became lost in a journey of words I thought I already knew.
"Not all who wander are lost" is a line from a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien and was displayed on the Google homepage Thursday as part of the hype surrounding the upcoming theatrical release of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug".
When I read the familiar words, I was not motivated to see the film any more than I already am; however, I was motivated to remember the times those words were given to me by loved ones.
I can remember two instances those words were given to me, by whom and what difficulties I was going through at that time. I still find inspiration and encouragement in them today.
In reading the remainder of the poem and information on it, I was made aware of the similarities and differences between the first line of the poem "All that is gold does not glitter" and the proverb from Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," "All that glitters is not gold."
The words are so similar but when the meanings of their arrangement are compared, you'll find one reminds us to be wary of things that look appealing but have no value and the other reminds us there is great value in things that are unassuming.
Having explained my love for words, you might find it odd that I hate letters.
I cannot spell and I detest the little character creatures which stand in the way of writing with words.
Letters get all jumbly-wumbly in my mind. I have never been able to makes sense of their sounds and purpose – other than I need them to make words.
There is a villain to every story, to every love and letters are mine.
However, the remainder of the poem offers hope and encourages me to focus on what is to come and to remain optimistic.
There are many more parallels to draw between the poem and other works of literature, and if you are like me and love literature and words, I hope you embark on a journey with these words:
"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."
Jeri Bloxom is a contributing writer and columnist to the Minden Press-Herald.