New Poem: Jan-u-wine's 'Frodo's Dreme of Fimbrethil & Undómiel'.
~ Ent-wives dancing.
This represents a hiatus in the screencap posts (Galadriel's Mirror in six parts is still being worked on, slowly). But I so admired and was so moved by a poem jan-u-wine recently wrote, I asked if I could post it here now. The poem begins in the Undying Lands, Frodo dreaming speculatively of things that may or may not have occurred in Middle-earth. First he's thinking of the Entwife Fimbrethil, or Wandlimb, which was her Westron name. She was the Ent-wife Treebeard loved. She and her sisters, Treebeard told Merry and Pippin in TTT, strode off looking for lands of their own to tend, ages before. The Ent-wives had last been seen in what became the barren Brown Lands, across the great river and south of Lórien. Frodo next thinks/dreams of Undómiel (Quenya for "evening-maiden"), Arwen Evenstar.
What if Fimbrethil, with her surviving sisters, had come at last to Lórien? And what if Fimbrethil had been there when Arwen, after the death of Aragorn, had laid down to die upon Cerin Amroth?
There are no film scenes that illustrate this poem in a literal way. Still, I wanted to use some images from the films for the dreaming Frodo. There are several film scenes in which Frodo is shown sleeping. After much experimenting, I settled upon a series of images from his blissful rescue from Mt. Doom by the Eagles. I felt the series (with some ph0to-shopping)gave a sense of Frodo falling asleep and being borne off to other lands and other times, on the wings of dreams.
For the other images, I had to look beyond the films. There are no Ent-wives in LotR, and no scenes from the life of Arwen after the crowning of Aragorn. So, I used artworks that felt right, even if they did not literally depict my subjects.
These images appear further down.
I hope you enjoy this enchanted journey into Frodo's dreams as much as I did.
Frodo's Dreme of Fimbrethil & Undómiel
A/N: It has been a sadness to me that there is no mention of a meeting between Frodo and Treebeard, even though they certainly would have met when the hobbits (and company) passed through Isengard on their journey Home. Just as certainly, Merry and Pippin would have told Frodo the tale of their adventure with the Ents, and of the Ents' longing for their lost wives. Would Frodo not have been, at the very least, curious? Would he not have given much thought to these seeming-strange creatures, who played such a large role in the downfall of Isengard?
In this poem, Frodo, having sailed Over-Sea, dremes of the lands he has left behind forever, fancifully envisioning what might have become of not only the Ent-wives, but of another being as ageless (and bereft of husband) as they: the Evenstar, Arwen. Might these two destinies have been intertwined?
of slender tree-strings and the friendly whisper-touch of a small wind,
I dreme of places I have known,
of people I have loved,
of times and beings I may never
Here, in this place,
parted from what I called "Home",
I dreme upon those who are lost.
Cradled in the gentle shade of her hand-maidens,
I dreme upon
Cerin Amroth: Fimbrethil
How should they know me now?
they have known me
Ever my thoughts were different from theirs,
lighter, like the bright
dance of the Netted Stars.
too long to count in years the time I have stood here,
I, and my sisters, voices stilling,
down into silence
until they sleep
(if sleep this could be named).
and I can no more awaken them.
About me they stay, their circling arms
bejeweled with leaves of green, of gold,
(of sun-blooded red, even),
lifted in gentle greeting (or tender farewell).
They do not feel the solitary
that enters our silent grove.
Oh, this one
we have known before.
We have known her before, when there *was* a "we".
We have known her when her woven step,
as light as the cool winds that ride above the world,
was not alone.
They were fair, she and he,
fair for those who must needs be
dressed in flesh-skin.
She is alone now, this fair one,
the moon-pearl of her all but hidden beneath a curtain'd tangle of midnight hair.
Before, the lilt of her voice,
like pour'd music, touched us, gilding the day with song.
Now she speaks not,
only her hand touching those who sleep,
touching and letting go
with a grief that I might feel even through bark-skin.
She stays thus,
and the water that those who are of flesh
call 'tears' makes rain-tracks upon her face.
I do not know what it might mean when she stoops to the ground.
She lies upon the good earth, the rich brown of it,
the cool embrace of it.
weighted now by mortal years,
sable garlanded with white,
falls at last upon my knee.
It may be long, this length of......
time in which she moves not.
It is less than a moment to me, for I dreme upon the wind
and the water which touches and tickles the roots of me,
until almost I should become as my sisters
and wake no more.
When next I heed the song of other-earth,
a coverlet of sweet grass
cradles her gently,
golden against raven hair,
fragile elanor growing about her feet.
We will stay here.
She and I, and my sisters.
Forever divided from those we love, from those who
came to understanding too late,
from those who sleep and dreme no more.
I shall sleep now,
I shall sleep
and guard her well.
The Tol: Frodo
How pleased the Eldest should have been
of my waking,
the filtered prism of autumn light
to engraven'd darkness, Eärendil's solitary sail
holding its customary watch,
rising upon the sky-seas of night.
Well do I remember who Eärendil
well do I remember
where I have journeyed this day,
if only in dreme.
I cannot move for the wonder of it all.
I can not move
for my sorrow.
And I *feel* the young trees about me:
how they are a part of this earth,
a part of this story,
a part of
Their breath becomes
the long slow breath
whose roots know all,
And so it is that here,
in this sundered place,
with the small greyness of fog
curving about me, and crystal water-jewels
dripping from tree-fingers,
in my waking that is yet a dreme,
I say my farewells.
Sleep well within your mortal veil.
Gentle queen of
Let not your arms grow weary, let not
your thoughts fall
Companion her in this great silence, keep station
about the very *idea*
Stay until those lands
which were taken in the Sea's anger
Beyond that ending, beyond
perhaps even we
may yet meet.
Frodo's images are made from screencaps of the Eagles scene. The filter used is called "glowing edges".
Fimbrethil's sleeping image was made from a photograph of the "Mud Maid" by Sue and Pete Hill, a live plant installation at Heligan Gardens in Cornwall. Photoshopping it (using "dauber"), I tried to show Fimbrethil sleeping through the seasons into winter.
Arwen upon the hill of Cerin Amroth was created from Thomas Dodd's "Ophelia's Demise". The Dodd painting has a very dreamy, enchanted quality in its original state, which made me prefer it. Photoshopping it, I thought of it as an image not only of her losing her life but of being transformed: whatever it is that happens to mortals in Tolkien, which, though mysterious, is not bad. I am hoping the visual dissolution from image to image looks like Arwen becoming more and more immersed in, or filled with, light or flowers or stars or all of these. Although in the tale Arwen goes to Lórien to die, I feel that the images, like Jan's poem from Fimbrethil's point of view, show the larger reality. Even if her flesh decays like the ripe fruit that falls to earth, out of the exposed nut, her soul, new life will twine and grow, even if life in another world.
Other paintings that might have worked for Arwen were also of the death of Ophelia, a subject that suited my needs well. For those interested, I have linked them, according to artist: