Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost!

This famous quote by J R R Tolkein in his poem “All that is gold does not glitter” in The Lord Of The Rings, along with the title of the poem itself has become more or less a cliche used in many situations. Here is the poem:

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.

I don’t glitter.
I am not lost despite a great deal of wandering.
I have not withered despite having crossed the proverbial three score and ten long ago.
My roots are still very deep and strong.

Now, I need to philosophise.

In one of our Upanishads, Ishopanishad, a verse states:

Vayur anilam amritam
athedam bhasmantam shariram
om krato smara kritam smara
krato smara kritam smara

Let this temporary body be burned to ashes, and let the air of life be merged with the totality of air which is deathless. Now, O my Lord, please remember all my sacrifices, and because You are the ultimate beneficiary, please remember all that I have done for You.

With that invocation, I hope that from my ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring, and the blade that was broken will will be renewed and I shall be king again.


My fellow 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman has suggested today’s topic. I hope that he finds my take on it satisfying. Please do go over to his blog to see his take on the subject.

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12 Responses to Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost!

  1. Hurray for deep roots!
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..The Stories We Tell Ourselves

  2. Wisewebwoman says:

    Love this. My granddaughter and I travelled a lot and wandered. And invented the expression “look what found us” and delighted in the discovery. Now she wanders the world and I’ve never forgotten your kindness when she was in India.

    Wisewebwoman recently posted..Blog Jam

  3. shackman says:

    As you know I am not a fan of poetry but I do like this one – perhaps because it has become such a cliche. Be a shame for all that fancy rhetoric though if this one life is all we get. I guess we shall see.

    • As you know, I am a Vedantin and believe that this is not the only life we get. So, during this one, one tries to live in such a way that one escapes the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. This poem fits well into that philosophy.

  4. Max Coutinho says:

    Hi Rummy,

    This is a very beautiful post. Thank you. It summarises the complexity of human existence: not all that seems to be is. And that is why we should refrain from passing judgement. A lot of food for thought here.

    G-d Bless you and your beautiful family.

    Max Coutinho recently posted..US Embassy in Jerusalem Marks The Start of Real New World Order

  5. tammy j says:

    words are so powerful.
    they can create an entire space in time. and the relevance is ours.
    like Shack… i’m generally not a fan of poetry.
    i have always loved Haiku. but i don’t think of it as poetry!
    just moments in time.
    the thoughts here are beautiful.
    yours and his. SH
    tammy j recently posted..may day

  6. Still another way of getting into the flow. 🙂
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Gazing Ball II

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