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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Elanor is born, Pt. II ~ Frodo Reflects.....

Posted on 2006.09.22 at 16:40
Tags: , ,

Elanor is Born, Part II: Frodo Reflects ~ featuring screencaps from Sam’s wedding, with jan-u-wine’s No Child of My Body….


(September 22, cont'd....)

~*~



I have always thought that Frodo would have had mixed feelings about the birth of Sam’s child.

I have imagined him lifting the new-born girl, moist-eyed with wonder, his dulled heart filled to bursting: “This is why we did it; this is what made our sacrifice worth-while". At the same time I imagine him inwardly anguished, thinking: "This is what I shall never have; this is what I have sacrificed”.

I have long planned to include such a scene in my interminable fic, but whatever I finally write, I doubt I shall express my feelings any more powerfully than what jan-u-wine has written in No Child of My Body. Of all her poems that make me weep, this rather short one makes me weep the hardest. But I am a person who enjoys weeping over what is beautiful, even if it breaks my heart.


~*~


To “illustrate” the poem, I have selected screencaps from Sam’s wedding. I do not love Frodo’s coverage in this scene, but the mood comes closest to what I was looking for. Frodo is happy for his “friend of friends”, but as the frames proceed and the camera moves in for his close-up, there is sadness in the eyes. His look hints at what he later will say plainly to Sam, “We set out to save the Shire, Sam, and it has been saved, but not for me.”

"But not for me." By the filmmakers' intention or not, that plainly-spoken remark frets at the happiness of this scene.


~*~


As usual, the caps have been tweaked for focus, but this time for colour, too. They were rather yellowish and washed out, no doubt to highlight Frodo’s invalid look. I have heightened the contrast, and brought down the yellow values just a notch.






~ Frodo’s reaction shots at Sam’s wedding; RotK, full-screen theatrical version:

















































No Child of My Body

~ by jan-u-wine


I have learned
sunlight
may be
just as heavy
upon the heart as
shadow.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It is not as quiet
about the smial
as once it was.

I am glad of it.

I tell myself that,
in the solitude
of my study.

I tell myself
I am glad
of the sounds,

both large
and small
that waken
the house
in the depths
of night,

that brighten
even the sun-dappled
garden.

I tell myself
that to be less
than glad of it

would be ungrateful.

Still, I cannot
explain

the silence that falls
upon my heart
at the sight of her,

the pain that tightens
my throat

as tiny fingers hold to mine.

I wonder,
sometimes,
if even I yet live,

if all that is left me

is not just an emptied form
(like those that fell to dust
on that day a little over a year distant).

Unbidden, knowledge writes itself large
within my mind:

there will be
no child

of my body,

no other orphan
bound to entranc'd evil.

My head bows beneath this new weight.

I thought I had paid
dearly
enough....

I thought
it might be granted
that something
remain of me
save diminishing memory.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I hold this small life to me.

Golden, like the flower
she was named for -

her head smells of cinnamon and sun-shine,
of blossoms
warming
within honey'd Spring.

Grief closes my heart:

I will not be here to tell her stories.

I will not be here to see her grown.

Will she dance with ribbons
in the wheat of her hair,

dance,
like her mum,
beneath a moon-lemoned sky?

Will her fingers be brown
and knowing with the wisdom of earth,

will they summon forth
life,
like her da's?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My broken hand
finds blessing
and rest
upon your brow.

Elanor.

My lips form words
of remembrance,
thread
fine silver within
the tender realm of your ear.

Elanor.

On a day
over-laid by fog,
of a sudden,
you shall long
for the smell of the Sea.

You shall live there,
golden Elanor,

and hear my voice
within the sound of the waves

and the lonely shift
of the wind upon sand.

For all that there shall be no child
of my body,

you
shall be
the child of my heart.

Elanor.




~*~





Some observations of Frodo’s childless state....

Although Frodo had no heir -- no living issue -- in handing to Sam the tale of his experience (and the tale of the larger experience of the Quest), Frodo gave Sam custody not only of a book, but his “child”, his “issue”, which would carry his line into the future. Not physically, but in spirit. Sam and his family would become “bearers” of that child; handing it on from one to another, until it bore fruit in abundance.

A physical child would have lived and died in the Shire, reaching its eighty, ninety, or one hundred years. Eventually, “Frodo Baggins” would have become merely a name in the family tree in a well-kept tome seldom opened.

By pouring his life into his writing, the light and grit and beauty and humility that was Frodo has been handed on through the years, to wider and wider circles of people, until we ourselves have become his heirs. He had no “child of his body”, which was a grief to him (and to many of the fans who love him). But, in the spirit, through the story in which he still lives, he has many descendants. The “bearers of the Ring-bearer” have become as countless as the stars whose Song he heard many ages past.




~*~





Jan-u-wine's Lord of the Rings-based poetry may be found at LotR Scrapbook.


Previous screencap entry (Elanor is Born, Pt. I) HERE.

NEXT entry (Setting out for the Havens - Frodo and Sam's farewell caps) HERE.

Listing of all Frodo Screencap entries HERE.



~ Mechtild

Comments:


Shirebound
shirebound at 2006-09-22 22:38 (UTC) (Link)
Ohhh, that final pic really says so much. And, as usual, a perfect accompaniment with the lovely poem.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-22 23:16 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Shireling. I think that last pic says it, too.
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-22 23:17 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, he can tear your heart with a look.

And so he can, in those who love him. It's funny how those we care about can tear us to pieces, merely by the fact that they are in distress. The compensation is that when they are in bliss, so are we.
Illyria
illyria_novia at 2006-09-22 23:46 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, God, God, God... Mechtild, that is easily the most powerful, most piercingly painful poem by Jan-u-wine. I'm blubbering in tears now as I write this. I am reminded of Bagoas saying to Alexander that the child of dreams outlive the sons of seed. But you can't hold the sons of your dream, can you, you can't kiss the top of their heads and smell the sunshine in their hair, you can't feel their tiny fingers wrapped around yours. Powerfully tragic poem, Mechtild. Thank you for posting it here so we can read it.
pearlette
pearlette at 2006-09-23 00:04 (UTC) (Link)
*sniffles and points to Illyria's post*

What she said.

That last line totally finished me off.

Frodo's childlessness gets to me particularly because I'm facing up to that very own issue in my own life. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in constant mental agony or anything. I'm just 44 and facing reality.

I love Frolijah's expression in this sequence. Just look at that boy's eyes. They tell you everything.

*shakes her head with admiration*
Map-Maker, Lighthouse-Keeper
marinshellstone at 2006-09-23 00:22 (UTC) (Link)
Can I add you? loved the story you wrote...

(I'm Christy, by the way...was "Hadara" on TORc for a few years and mostly hung around in the Frodo/Elijah forum.)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-23 00:30 (UTC) (Link)
It's a powerful theme to many of us, I think. I didn't marry young. We began trying to have a child the next year, even though I was immersed in graduate school, because we knew my time was short. I didn't conceive and we despaired of it, figuring I was just too old. We adjusted, and stopped fretting over it.

Funny. Thirty-seven seemed so old to me then. Now I can see I was still quite young, although not in terms of fertility.

I always feel as though we just *chanced* to get her, as if she showed up on our doorstep in a basket with a note like Paddington Bear. I guess it's still hard for me to latch on to the fact that I actually got to have a child, except for the fact of her. You never know how things will turn out.

I love Frolijah's expression in this sequence. Just look at that boy's eyes. They tell you everything.

Yes, they do. But I see it far more clearly in these still frames than when the film is rolling.

Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-23 00:16 (UTC) (Link)
Illyria, I'm so glad you found it moving. I didn't want to feel like I was a nut-case, falling apart at this particular image.

But you can't hold the sons of your dream, can you, you can't kiss the top of their heads and smell the sunshine in their hair, you can't feel their tiny fingers wrapped around yours.

No, you can't. Frodo himself would never know what he would come to mean to so many, the sons and daughters of his dream. But, they, too, would like to kiss the top of his head and smell the sunshine in his hair. And I don't mean that in a swoonish way.

Map-Maker, Lighthouse-Keeper
marinshellstone at 2006-09-23 00:20 (UTC) (Link)
tears are all prickly in my eyes!

You shall live there,
golden Elanor,

and hear my voice
within the sound of the waves

and the lonely shift
of the wind upon sand.


just...gorgeous.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-23 00:31 (UTC) (Link)
(((((((((Hadara))))))))) I left you a note in your LJ. I hope you have a better night tonight.
Starlit Woods
starlit_woods at 2006-09-23 09:29 (UTC) (Link)
Oh my gosh that's a heartbreaking poem! So beautiful and haunting and sad. Wonderful pictures to accompany it too Mechtild, so happy and tinged with a trace of sadness. I also noticed for the first time that the lady behind Frodo has the same hair as him, and looks almost like she could be his mother, right down to the small gap between her teeth! Maybe Primula is watching over him in spirit as Frodo will watch over Elanor?
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-23 15:00 (UTC) (Link)
Golly, you're right, Starlit Woods! She does have "the gap" (we'll have to ask Mews if it's really her, per her recent humorous post).

Thanks for posting, Starlit. I hope you are feeling a bit better and this comment is a sign of it. :)
Starlit Woods
starlit_woods at 2006-09-24 11:49 (UTC) (Link)
You're right, it might be Mews sneaking in there to keep an eye on her boy's gap ;)

I am starting to feel a bit better Mechtild, thank you *hugs*
taerie
taerie at 2006-09-24 01:40 (UTC) (Link)
God that girl is good. Everything she writes tears my heart out and stomps it flat. I really can't manage more than reading her poems occasionally.
This one makes my bones hurt.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-24 20:39 (UTC) (Link)
Well, don't stop reading them yet. When this series is finished, there'll be no more for a while. You should not deprive yourself of such beautiful looks into Frodo's sorrowful but beautiful soul, Ms. Tairie!
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-09-26 09:00 (UTC) (Link)
I am now a blubbering mess and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

But I am a person who enjoys weeping over what is beautiful, even if it breaks my heart.




Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-09-26 13:17 (UTC) (Link)
Then we shall blubber together ("mututal conversation and consolation of the blubberers" - that's a bible quote).
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