All That Glitters

Here’s an embarrassing confession: I thought the phrase was “All that glitters is not gold.” Meaning, just because it’s shiny doesn’t mean it has value. It turns out that it’s the title of a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien: All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter. The nuance is slightly different. The most valuable things in life are often the least flashy.

In a recent poetry salon that my friend Clare hosts, we talked about the poetry of everything things — the sexiness of apricots, the twisted body of a dead fledgling, winter’s first snowfall, the space in between joy and heartbreak.

All that is gold does not glitter

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

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