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<   No. 354   2004-01-14   >

Comic #354

1 [caption]: Na ëlbeleth ranaêl dá Gilthanion, më renniél la pellaneon,/Dorhanneth tûr il beldereth na gallanë marunithir./Sor Rianni mareth têl dá haludir, më renniél manudir,/Foranní doraleth mallen tûr il bora thélinir.
1 [caption]: Pá suliness malunithar têl dá Gilthanion ondaerieal,/Morranneth tûr il helleneth na gallanë esturilir./Sor dá Leigani ranaêl dá silirion têl earieal,/Ethelliel pûr il hathali se më bora ûresilir.
1 [caption]: Forsaleth té vuraniel, hë methelioth dá Gilthanion,/Horlânneth tûr il galléreth na gallanë hurinir./Sor Elarolen mareth dur têl renniél pellaneon,/Gilranní pá loreth tûr na halenibora dusárilir.
2 Lambert: What was that?
2 Alvissa: A pointless Elvish poetry digression.
3 Lambert: What does it mean?
3 Alvissa: "Yay, trees," basically.

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If Tolkien can get away with it, so can I.

I wrote the poem straight from my head in about 10 minutes, by the way. It's supposed to resemble one of the Tolkien elvish languages, but I didn't use any reference material and (as far as I know) it's not translatable and doesn't actually mean anything.

When I began making this strip, my original idea was to write some free verse in English, about leaves and trees and silvery moonlight and that sort of Elvish stuff, and the last panel was to be:

Lambert: But it doesn't rhyme.
Alvissa: It rhymes in Elvish. That's all that matters.
But I got half a verse into the poem and decided it sucked, so thought it would be better if I cheated and pretended to write something in Elvish. Which necessitated changing the punchline. Much for the better, I think.
2012-12-15 Rerun commentary: In hindsight, it's a shame I didn't keep my original idea and run it as a follow-up gag later on. It would have been fun having Alvissa spout Elvish (or avant-garde English) poetry now and then as a running gag. She is supposed to be a bard, after all.

Yep. Check her details on the cast page. I really should have played that up a bit more.

In other news, I was shocked just now when I went to write this rerun annotation that the original transcript contained badly formatted accented characters in the poem, which browsers would have rendered like this: �. So I've gone through and replaced them with codes that should render properly. I'm shocked that nobody pointed this error out to me years ago.

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