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Old 02-24-2023, 03:56 AM   #1
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Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Mīms Klage / The Complaint of Mim the Dwarf

I seem to be making a digital hoard of hard-to-find Tolkien texts. I have Songs for the Philologist, Concerning... 'The Hoard', and even The Boorman Script. I'm still hoping for a copy of the Zimmerman script treatment, but until that surfaces I have something, well, actually Tolkien...ish.

"The Complaint of Mīm the Dwarf" is a blended poem and prose piece by Tolkien which has never been published. The Estate has made it clear (post by Urulókė) that they will not publish it at all. But what has been published, way back in 1987, is a translation into German by Hans J. Schütz:

Mīms Klage

A scan from the 1987 book. 26 lines of poetry, and three pages of prose. Even my limited German tells me that it's very much a stream-of-consciousness - look at that section after the first paragraph break, where Mim speaks:

Tink-tink-tink, tink-tonk, tonk-tonk, tink!
No time to eat, no time to drink, tonk-tink!
Tink-tonk, no time, tonk-tink, no time [to waste]!
No time to sleep! No night and no day, just [haste]!
Only silver and gold, hammered and [formed and shaped]
and small, hard stones, [glittering] and cold
Tink-tink, green and gold, tink-tink, blue and white
Under my hands [quietly sprout and grow]
long [leaves] and flowers, and red eyes [glowing]
of [beasts] and birds between [branches and blossoms].

(Translation mine; [square brackets] are words I had to look up. I've not bothered to try and keep the rhyme or rhythm at this time.)

Without translating the full piece it's hard to know when it takes place: Mim is described in the poem as 200 years old, but we don't have any other ages for him. Dwarves were typically born 100 years after their fathers, so even if this poem is set right before Mim's death he could still have the two adult or near-adult sons we see in the books. It takes place "Under a mountain, in an [impassable] land", which sounds like Amon Rudh, but poetically could be the ruins of Nargothrond.

There's a rhyming translation of the poem in video here, along with some snippets of the prose. I will probably keep poking at the whole thing in my rough way, unless someone happens to come along who actually speaks German.

(It's very tempting to imagine this as Mim working his curse into the hoard of Nargothrond, and thus link it directly to Concerning... 'The Hoard', but without translation I don't know how viable that is.)

EDIT: My full, low-quality back-translation into English (as created in this thread) is here.

Have you burned the ships that could bear you back again? ~Finrod: The Rock Opera

Last edited by Huinesoron; 07-13-2023 at 01:38 AM.
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