A Fireworks Display from J.R.R. Tolkien

Thinking about the Fourth of July, we came across this magical description of fireworks from The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. We could almost see his vivid imaginings in this rendering of fireworks we found from 1745*…

There were rockets like a flock of scintillating birds singing with sweet voices. There were green trees with trunks of dark smoke: their leaves opened like a whole spring unfolding in a moment, and their shining branches dropped glowing flowers down upon the hobbits, disappearing with a sweet scent just before their touched their upturned faces. There were fountains of butterflies that flew glittering into the trees; there were pillars of coloured fires that rose and turned into eagles, or sailing ships, or a phalanx of flying swans; there was a red thunderstorm and a shower of yellow rain; there was a forest of silver spears that sprang suddenly into the air with a yell like an embattled army, and and came down again into the Water with a hiss like a hundred hot snakes.

May your fireworks this Fourth be filled with magic!



….We’ll be back on Monday.


*Drawing at top: Detail from an image showing fireworks in Hamburg to celebrate the coronation of Emperor Franz I. Stephan in 1745, found in Klebeband 10 of the Fürstlich Waldecksche Hofbibliothek – Source.

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