Tolkien Gateway

Windle-reach

Windle-reach was a lower part of the Withywindle river beginning at the Withy-weir. The name is mentioned in the poem Bombadil Goes Boating:

Tom came to Withy-weir. Down the river rushing
foamed into Windle-reach, a-bubbling and a-splashing...[1]

The word 'reach' can refer to any length of a river or to a level stretch between locks in a canal, but especially to "a straight portion of a stream or river, as from one turn to another",[2] which is here the most probable explanation, as it gives a word-play combining windle 'winding' and reach 'straight'.[3]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Bombadil Goes Boating"
  2. Reach (geography) (Wikipedia); General Introduction and Hydrologic Definitions (Science in Your Watershed, U.S. Geological Survey).
  3. See also: Windle-reach (Encyclopedia of Arda).