Reviews for We once had Light
Sauron Gorthaur chapter 1 . 7/23/2013
It’s a pity that so few people seem to write seriously about the Nazgul, especially about them as actual characters and people rather than just wraiths. This was a great poem, lovely in its technical form elements, but also a great portrayal of nine characters who really are fascinating and deserve more attention than they tend to get.

On a purely technical level, I loved this poem. As a form poet myself, I always enjoy reading the creative work of another poet who can use rhyme and meter, along with all the other poetic devices. I loved the sounds of this: the flow of the meter, rhythm, and rhymes. I don’t run across a lot of good form poets, but you are certainly one. The rhyme and meter never seems forced throughout this entire poem – there wasn’t a single place where I was hung up by the way it sounds. There were no “Hallmark card” rhymes, rhymes that stick out and make you want to cringe. Instead, the meter and rhyme created a nice background rhythm, but a lot of the time, I hardly noticed they were there, which is what you want from rhyme and meter. The way you play with the rhyme scheme and switch it up also kept it from sounding to “Hallmarky” or sing-songy. There’s also all sorts of lovely interior sounds going on in here too – I’m personally a huge fan of alliteration, and I loved the sound of “before they forged, ” “we lived, we loved,” “deep deceit” and especially “darkness you detain.” The repetition of “mortal/foolish man” in the longer stanza also worked really well I thought in terms of sounds. I know form poetry can be hard to write, but you certainly nailed it!

And not only is it an excellent poem in its technical aspects, but I love how it works as a piece of fanfiction about the Nazgul, as well. I’ve always loved pieces that portray a “human” side of the villains, something to show that they are more than mindless evil. As I said, so few people seem to seriously explore the Nazgul as people, and I like that you have portrayed them here as dangerous, terrible, but also as tragic figures who realize the plight they are in. The brief mention of their previous life, remembering light and love, makes them seem like sympathetic characters, not monsters, which is appropriate considering they were once human, and I don’t think it’s too far a stretch to say that they could still retain some amount of that humanity even as Ringwraiths. I liked the line about them remembering what it was like to live a life without despair – in the trilogy, the Nazgul are symbols of despair, bringing terror and despair to all around them, and I thought it was interesting that they themselves are also consumed with despair, as if the despair they radiate is their own pain and fear. I loved the echo of the Witch-King’s line to Eowyn, and my favorite line in the whole poem was the next one: “You should not fight an enemy; you have no hope to slay...” Not only did I like the sound of that line, but again I liked the idea of hope and despair, such a clear Tolkienian theme, and that the Nazgul steal away the hope of men. As I said above, I liked the repetition of “mortal man” for its sounds, but I also liked it for its theme. It’s interesting that the Nazgul should repeat those words again and again like that, as if remembering what they themselves once were and as if warning the men about what happens when “mortal men” mess with the Darkness.

And of course, the Nazgul are inexorably linked to my own favorite Tolkien character: Sauron. Although there are only a few brief mentions of him and his connection to the Nazgul in this poem, I think those mentions are still powerful in what they say about that connection. I liked the line about the Nazgul being trapped in his hands – again, I like it because it makes the Nazgul seem like tragic figures, which I believe they are, men who were ensnared and are now eternally trapped. I liked that you say they are trapped in Sauron’s hands, since that alludes to the Ring and the nine rings, that they are literally trapped by Sauron’s hand. I also liked the final line in the long stanza: “It matters little, foolish man, for I will still remain.” I don’t know if I am reading it the way you intended it, but the way I saw this is that the “I” could be read as Sauron, since the Nazgul refer to themselves as “we” throughout the poem. We know Sauron is directly linked to the Nazgul and, in a way, they have become extensions of him. So, the reading of these lines that I saw was that even if the mortal man could kill a single Nazgul, it doesn’t matter because Sauron still remains, both as a separate entity and through the other Nazgul. The evil and darkness that the Nazgul represent will still remain if you kill them.

There’s a lot of great ideas, great imagery, and great sounds packed into this relatively short poem. I love that you’ve portrayed the Nazgul in such a deep, thorough, thoughtful manner, and portrayed them as characters we feel sorry for even as we fear them. On every level, I enjoyed reading this poem. Keep on writing!

-Sauron Gorthaur
samus18 chapter 1 . 12/9/2005
Dangly, this is so awesome! You constructed this beautifully. I like your style. Please keep up the excellent writing. )
random person again chapter 1 . 9/18/2005
OMG another good one! i luv it! this is so cool this is like the best fanfic poem i've ever read keep it up!
Amashelle chapter 1 . 3/16/2005
Another wonderfully composed piece - I'm not so sure about the one stanza 'Forever trapped withing his hands,/The eye can be so cruel.../Just as I am now so cruel' I don't know, it's not as good as the rest of it, that's all.
EpitomyofShyness chapter 1 . 1/8/2005
Oh yeah! This is so nazgulish!... Did I just say nazgulish? Oh boy... *goes rummaging for a grammer book*
Gandalf -Dumbledore -Obi-Wan chapter 1 . 12/19/2004
i love your stories about the nazgul!
natalie chapter 1 . 7/9/2004
WOW! this is AMAZING! you have incredible talent. my best friend's favorite character is the Witch-King. i will e-mail this poem to her, and i know she'll love it.
JJ chapter 1 . 6/10/2004
Nice one ! _

do more do more
Evenstar Elanor chapter 1 . 6/10/2004
wow.. puts the Nazgul in a different light. their shrieks really do scare me. for once, there is a different emotion surrounding them. instead of fear, there is sorrow, of once great men now lost. i like many lines of this poem, but to pick, i like, "We looked on life, without despair," which shows that now, after their transformation, all they have is despair. two typos, spelled Sauron wrong. nothing big, just telling u