Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Frodo and the Kraken

Throughout human history tales of terrible beasts lying in wait beneath the waves have long inspired fear in the hearts of the hardiest sailors. But it is the legendary Kraken which truly gripped men’s hearts and shook from them every last drop of courage. Indeed, the terror occasioned by sharing the wide open sea with the infamous mythological monster is thought to have been rivaled only by the prospect of spending a night with a syphilitic St. Malo prostitute. Legend has it they were total dogs.

Some notable skeptics such as the Pope argue against the existence of this mercurial creature on the basis that its appearance in the annals is rare and inconsistent. Yet not even the staunchest of disbelievers can deny that sightings have sea monsters span from the time of Homer through to the present day.

By the 19th Century however, sightings of the beast had ceased. Sailors no longer feared wide expanses of ocean, and instead began to ponder all the fabulous, nubile sea nymphs they could stick their penises in. When gloating seaman put paid to their fantastical stories of mermaids by bringing home Steller's sea cow, France was alone in fielding an impressive batch of eager new naval recruits.

So what happened in the 18th Century to end the sightings and put mariners at ease? Had the Kraken merely grown quiet over the years then one would expect sailors to fear the oceans still, rather than confidently stab the seas with their pointy prows as they do. Frodological lore offers a compelling explanation in the form of an epic poem dating from 1783. Though only scraps remain, it tells the harrowing tale of a French frigate returning from Louisiana being ambushed and hounded by a mighty tentacled beast, dubbed by the author as 'le Cracquen'. But when all hope was lost, the author tells of the incredible appearance of a winged apparition, 'le Frodo', who slays le Cracquen and saves le petrified crew.

Here then is an excerpt depicting the appearance of Frodo and his climactic battle with the Kraken, translated from the original French.

Frodo and the Kraken

And lo! ye prow did suffer seas
The squall a rage which cloaked the beast
Our hearts were doused with brackish spray
And feared the more the violent fray

Aware we would be torn apart
By beast so vile and cold of heart
My soul did quake and spirit fear
The maw of Death that was so near

So piteous it found our plight
Resist as futile as take flight
Our vessel captained by Despair
Ensure it did our courage rare

So sure were we of Death's embrace
Beyond belief was His great grace
Yet from on High He did appear
With noble brow and fiery spear

Agape we watched and did behold
Our Lord and Master craft in gold
Aloft He soared with harpoon heft
And with a stroke its heart was cleft

And just as light destroys the dark
The beast was slain before the ark
And lo! it sank beneath the seas
The squall no more, it too deceased

For joy and praise our tears did flow
To glory in our Master's glow
As one we knelt now saved from foe
And shouted thrice All Hail Frodo!


yunshui said...

I feel some poetry is best enjoyed in the original. Dante's Inferno, for example; and now, this:

Frodon et le Kraken

Et voici! vous proue ne souffrent mers
Le grain une rage qui enveloppé la bête
Nos curs ont été arrosées de spray Saumâtre et craint plus la violence mêlée

Aware nous serait déchiré
Par la bête de façon vile et le froid du coeur
Mon âme et l'esprit séisme n'a peur
Le gouffre de la mort qui était si près de pitié

Alors il a trouvé notre sort
Resist comme futile que de prendre le vol
Notre capitaine de bateau de veiller à ce désespoir
Il fait de notre courage sont rares si sûr

Nous l'étreinte de la mort au-delà De sa conviction est grande grâce
Pourtant, d'en haut, il semble Avec noble front et lance de feu

Nous avons vu Agape n'a voici
Notre Seigneur et Maître artisanale de l'or
A monté en flèche en altitude avec harpon heft
Et avec un coup de son coeur a été fente

Et tout comme la lumière détruit le noir
La bête a été tué devant l'arche
Et voilà il a coulé sous les mers
Le grain plus, elle aussi victime

De la joie et la louange de nos larmes ne flux
Pour la gloire de notre Maître de la lumière
A celui que nous avons maintenant enregistré à genoux de l'ennemi
Et a crié trois fois Vive Frodon!

Stirs the spirit, doesn't it?

Dani' El said...

The Hobbit-

He clasps the crag with furry feet;
Close to the sun baked asada meat,
Ringed with the taco stand, he does eat.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt.... he farts.

FrodoSaves said...

Excellent contributions from the both of you. Particularly the near-rhyme with 'fart.

How was your wee break, Dani?

Dani' El said...

Do you think I owe Lord Tennyson an apology?


I had a nice rest thanks.
With the rest of the country locked in ice, SF was a balmy 75 degrees (in Jan!) so I walked the length of Golden Gate Park, about 3 miles, all the way to the ocean and caught up with some reading and sleeeeeep! Ah!

(I won't take your "wee" bait.)

FrodoSaves said...

No, I don't think you owe him anything. His copyright will have long since expired.

Glad you're getting some warmth where you are. Perhaps it's making the toilet humor more palatable than usual?

Dani' El said...

Well Frodo, it's true that no one likes a cold toilet seat.

One verse kept coming to mind over the last few days.

Eph 5:4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

So I repent of my course jesting and you will not hear any more from me.
I think I started out intending to set off a stink bomb on your blog for daring to use "turd" and Jesus in the same sentence, but it seems I've only stepped in my own "trap"?

And I can see from your next article I only seem to be provoking you.

So again.
I repent of it.
No mas.

Dani' El said...

Although I will continue to cast puns in righteousness until the end of time.


FrodoSaves said...

Then we're agreed: no more toilet-infused Biblical-bashing humor. We managed to get this far without resorting to it, so I think it's fair to say we can further eschew it without it being too great a sacrifice. In any case, I think we both made our point.

Well look at this. Apologies, forgiveness, and points conceded all on one blog. Google would turn over in its grave if it knew its members could get along!

Dani' El said...

Amen and agreed buddy.

Pro 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Vitamin R said...

I believe this is the most phallic entry to date. I highly approve.

Resist as futile as take flight


Yet from on High He did appear
With noble brow and fiery spear

Waitaminit--when did Frodo get a fiery spear? Aside from the one that cave troll lobbed at him, and which I totally doubt he kept?

Ah, but nitpicking aside, the poem was lovely, and rousing. As was the French version, so patiently recounted by Yunshui :D

And countenance-sharpening!

This blog has it all!

FrodoSaves said...

The reference to a 'fiery spear' is controversial amongst Frodologist scholars, but it's thought to be a metaphorical reference for a fiery sword, or perhaps a halberd. The spear appears nowhere but in this poem and in the picture I drew to commemorate it. Sadly the picture was 'axed' because it, well, sucked.

Yes, Yunshui's scholarly translation was a real boon to my appreciation of the poem. I'm glad you enjoyed it too.

So you want phalluses and pedophilia from this blog? Tall order, but I'll see what I can do!

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