Swordpoint LOC's: [Letter praising to Hoom #1, and offering a response to article by Frances (Jack) Scruby, as well as Frank Denton's "River Daughter", with bracketed commentary by editors]

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[page 25] BOB FOSTER 376 E. 8th St., Brooklyn, New York 11218 It's hard to say all that much about a first issue beyond stating that I support and encourage you, since most of the zine, not unexpectedly nor altogether undesirably, consists of policy statements. The one article, though, inspires me to comparatively (considering the enervating heat here) great response, "Beryl." Not being a rock expert, I can't say very much about the technical information Jack gives. But some of his [he's a SH_E_] inferences drawn from this to Tolkien _are_ questionable. True, the elf-stone is green. But its green is _not_ the green of the sea (as Jack infers from Pliny's remarks). The Elves (and the Dúnedain) seem to have thought of the sea as gray, as the Dúnedain have sea-gray eyes, but _not_ green. For the Elves, the sea, although a thing of beauty and an object of longing, was also a barrier, and thus no friend. Also, there is no indication that the Star of Elendil (what Aragorn wore) was a beryl, especially since in Bal. III 401 n., it says the Elendilmir was white. My strongest objection, though, is to Jack's idea of What the silmarilli are. Even if Tolkien didn't say (in _The Road Goes On_) that Feanor invented _slime_ and that he alone could make it. I would wax indignant at the phrase "Magically empowered by Fëanor." As Galadriel, I believe it is, explains, magic is only what you don't understand, and so it would be a gross misnomer to call Fëanor a magician. It is far too easy to call Faery by the name of mere magic, and thus reduce it to something on a level with conjuring. Finally, who says (besides Jack) that the Elves chose the beryl as their symbol. If this were so, one of the three Rings would have been made of it. I think it more likely that Glorfindel just happened to have a beryl in his pocket. True, the beryl is an elf-stone, but must it therefore be _the_ elf-stone? Still, I am grateful for the article, having wondered exactly what beryl was thought of as by those whose lore concerns such things. Ah ha! It seems that I also am inspired to comment on "Siver-Daughter." As before, I agree with everything in the article, and laud and magnify Frank Denton therefor @therefore@, except as hereafter stated. [page 26] courting. It could equally well be thought of as another Tom vs. the Old Forest episode, as in the stanzas preceding and following it in the poem. Tom, of course, wins, and in this case he marries Goldberry, as in another poem the swan and other wildlife help him by towing his boat upstream. I'm not sure that River-daughter could only have been caught outside her own element, but I think it more likely that Tom would prefer to catch her in the most comfortable way--without getting wet. I do not venture to guess whether Goldberry was letting herself be chased until she caught Tom, but, judging by what is said about Tom at the Council of Elrond, his power would seem to justify his confidence in preparing for the wedding before catching the bride. I do not know if it is justified to say that Tom's love for Goldberry has deepened by the time of Frodo's visit. Frodo's account and the poems are by different hands: one by a sensitive person who has seen great danger and great beauty, and the other a no doubt largely fictionalized entertainment by a provincial hobbit of no great insight or knowledge. (Rather, the poet does have insight, but only in that he creates the blithe, carefree [and forgetful] Tim properly; he does not know enough of the world to discuss deep love.) As far as who or what Goldberry is, may I suggest that it doesn't really matter. Elf or naiad, she is the best possible wife for Bombadil-- beautiful, wise, related to the nature Tom loves, and a good housekeeper. Aside from her being River-daughter, her nature is unique to herself, not to any race. For that matter, who is Bombadil (a Vala or Elda who dropped out?)? So, I'm looking forward to more "HOOMS." Mayhap I'll do something myself, but with the Glossary and NIEKAS deadlines I just don't write many articles. [Oooo, please, P-u-l-e-e-z-e write something for us, Bob. Of course, even your letters of comment are so full of information and clear thinking, they are almost as good as articles in themselves!] By the way, are readers of HOOM to be called "hoomans?" [And after I just complimented him on being so intellectually!!] Ymnaos, Foster

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