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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

New Poem: Jan-u-wine's 'Frodo's Dreme of Fimbrethil & Undómiel'.

Posted on 2009.04.24 at 20:25
Tags: , , , ,


~ 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?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Upon the Tol: Frodo


the autumn

of home-fires


along the fine-dusted

track of the road.

So far have I

without thought
(or perhaps

in thought too

that the sweet,

of familiar trees,

(my trees),
give way

to saplings,

their slim,



like harp strings
beneath a bronz'd Sun.


this young grove,
as if all of time


waiting upon

resting upon the

of dreme.

It would not be amiss,
I think,

to rest,

in this place,

this magik

where the grass


and whispers

where the Sun winks


the wide white of clouds.

And so I do:




at peace.

Between the music

of slender tree-strings
and the friendly whisper-touch of a small wind,

I dreme.

I dreme of places I have known,

of people I have loved,

of times and beings
I may never


in this place,

from what I called "Home",

I dreme upon those who are lost.

Cradled in the gentle shade of her

I dreme







Cerin Amroth: Fimbrethil

How should they know me now?

How might

have known me

at all?

Ever my thoughts
were different from theirs,

like the bright

of the Netted Stars.

But now.....

too long to count in years
the time I have stood here,

I, and my sisters,
voices stilling,


into silence

they sleep

(if sleep this could be named).

They sleep,

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,

lifted in gentle greeting
(or tender farewell).

They do not feel
the solitary


that enters our silent grove.

This one.

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,

for those who must needs be

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.

the lilt of her voice,

like pour'd music,
touched us,
gilding the day with song.

she speaks not,

only her hand touching those who sleep,

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.

Her head,

weighted now
by mortal years,

garlanded with white,

falls at last
upon my knee.

It may be long,
this length of......

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

a coverlet of sweet grass

her gently,

fallen leaves

against raven hair,

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.

shall sleep now,


dreme still.

I shall sleep

and dreme

and guard her






The Tol: Frodo

How pleased the Eldest
should have been

by the


of my waking,

the filtered prism
of autumn light

giving way

to engraven'd darkness,
Eärendil's solitary sail

holding its customary

gem'd prow

rising upon the sky-seas
of night.

Well do I remember
who Eärendil

might be,

do I remember

I have journeyed this day,

if only in dreme.

I cannot move for the wonder of it all.

I can not

for my sorrow.

And I *feel* the young trees about me:

they are a part of this earth,

a part of this

a part


Their breath


the long slow

of beings

whose roots
know all,


*are* all.

And so it is
that here,

in this sundered place,

with the small greyness of

curving about me,
and crystal water-jewels

dripping from tree-fingers,


in my waking that is yet
a dreme,


I say my farewells.



My lady.

Sleep well
within your mortal veil.


Gentle queen


Let not your arms grow weary,
let not

thoughts fall


Companion her in this great silence,
keep station

about the very

of her.

until those lands

which were taken
in the Sea's anger

arise again.

Beyond that ending,

that beginning,

even we

may yet meet.



Fare well.








Image sources:

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:

~ Odilion Redon

~ Frances MacNair

~ John William Waterhouse

~ John Everett Millais

~ Steven Graber

~ Geroges Jules Victor Clairin

~ Oleg Timchenko

~ Mechtild

Previous Frodo-related entry:

~ For March 25, 2009: Misc. widescreen caps from the destruction of the Ring, plus jan-u-wine's "Perhaps".

Other Links:

~ Entries with jan-u-wine's poems.

~ Main table for all entries


aussiepeach at 2009-04-25 02:46 (UTC) (Link)
I love the dancing entwives, and the image of Fimbrethil guarding Arwen's mortal remains as they turn to starriness. Beautiful, poetic post.
mechtild at 2009-04-25 14:20 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for stopping, Peachy. Thinking of your own post (for ANZAC Day) makes me think an elegiac mood has come upon us.
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2009-04-25 03:13 (UTC) (Link)
What gorgeous words and images! You too have created a symphony again. I love what you did with the pics. I especially love the first pic and the Mud Maid. I think Graber's painting looks the most like Arwen--and her peaceful mouth matches Frodolijah's. I love Frodo and Arwen's connection in the book, and Jan's poem of his dream of her makes so much sense with Fimbrethil as a manifestation of Middle-earth, and his farewell to Arwen who stayed there in his stead.
mechtild at 2009-04-25 14:30 (UTC) (Link)
I think Graber's painting looks the most like Arwen--and her peaceful mouth matches Frodolijah's.

Gosh, you're right! I am not sorry to have chosen "Arwen's dissolution into flowers and stars", but I had not looked at Graber's piece in the light of those Frodo images. They complement each other wonderfully! Thanks for pointing that out, Lavender.

I find tremendous satisfaction in this poem, for reasons you have touched on, now that you lift them up. Yes, it satisfies a longing in me that there be some sort of deeper farewell and more profound acknowledgement of what these two shared between them, brief as their encounters were, Arwen and Frodo. And I love that Jan has given Arwen company in her dying and death. It always rent me reading The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen: the *loneliness* of her death in deserted Lórien. In the poem, though, Lórien only looks deserted. In fact, a wise, understanding, consoling presence is right there. A "manifestation of Middle-earth" you said of Fimbrethil. That will do well for me, but I will hold to the additional sense of Fimbrethil as a personal presence. :)
julchen11 at 2009-04-25 11:02 (UTC) (Link)
This is incredible and amazing. What a very poetic post, your pictures and Jan's words. I'll take this with me into the garden, will read it again in the shadow of a fir.
I'm so very moved by the atmosphere and the silence of the words as well as by the grace of the prictures.
I'll be back with a proper comment soon, my dear.
Thanks to you and Jan - this made my day simply gorgeous.

Love you both,
mechtild at 2009-04-25 14:32 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so very moved by the atmosphere and the silence of the words as well as by the grace of the prictures.

Oooh, I love that, Julchen. Yes, the atmosphere, "and the silence of the words". It's odd, isn't it, that silence can be in words. But it is so.
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2009-04-25 21:22 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Mews. I am very much in the mood for this poem, I think. I'm feeling ... full of unformed, half-felt yearnings and catches of wistfulness, as if it were fall but it isn't. Yes, that photo is the one I asked you about. Isn't it perfect? I wish I could credit someone for it. It's so excellent an illustration, and a neat photo even without knowing a thing about Ent-wives.

I'm glad you liked the Arwen illos, too. I worked on it a long time (having fun, of course), trying different filters, then at different intensities and in different colours, and then shuffling the images around to see how the progression might best word. And that was after I'd done a series based on the Waterhouse Ophelia. I found the Dodd only afterwards. But when I saw it I said to myself, "yes, this is it".
melyanna_65 at 2009-04-25 20:00 (UTC) (Link)
That's very poetic and effective. You indeed created a dreamy atmosphere and I love Jan-U-Wine's words.

The pictures you chose are amazing and perfectly fits the theme and mood of this post.

*hugs you*
mechtild at 2009-04-25 21:23 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much, Melyanna. That's high praise, for both of us. I am blushing. :)
(Anonymous) at 2009-04-26 15:47 (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry to have missed several of your recent entries, Mechtild (RL has been limiting my time on-line), but how pleased I am to have caught this one, with its utterly beautiful words and images!

I like how you have presented the pictures of the sleeping Fimbrethil, progressing through the seasons ~ and it's touching to think of the Ent-wife sharing Arwen's resting-place. I have been to Cornwall many times, but have never visited Heligan Gardens ~ I would love to see the fabulous 'Mud Maid' for real! I have always had a fondness for Millais' 'Ophelia,' but I very much like the Thomas Dodd painting you have used to depict Arwen ~ it has, as you say, an enchanting quality which fits perfectly here. I especially like your notion of Arwen becoming immersed in light and stars ~ the effects you have added reflect that very well, I think.

Frodo, as ever, is beautiful. I would have liked to have seen that special connection between Frodo and Arwen portrayed in the films ~ but it was not to be.

Jan's words flow like the brush of oil upon canvas, or the wash of colour upon paper ~ she has the touch of a true artist. Thank you both for a wonderfully creative and imaginative post.

~ Blossom.
mechtild at 2009-04-26 17:45 (UTC) (Link)
I think Pearl's been there, or knew about it; she's the person who first told me about the gardens at Heligan and the Mud Maid, linking me to that picture. I gasped, I thought it was so perfect! That was a year or two ago. Little did I know jan-u-wine would write this great poem for which I could use it.

As for Arwen, I tried photoshopping quite a few of the Ophelias, including Millais'. But she always came out looking dead with her eyes open, which I thought too bleak an image of Arwen's death in terms of the poem's presentation through Fimbrethil's point of view. It suited the Tale well enough, which I think does present Arwen's lonely death in Lórien as quite bleak and sorrowful, but not the poem. The same was true, though to a lesser extent, when I did a series of images based on the Waterhouse. Because her head is turned away (towards the viewer, but looking somewhere off to the side), it also came off looking like an Arwen resigned to death, but looking forward to nothing, not even caring to look at the sky or the leaves in the tree tops when she died. I thought it looked quite sad. Still, it was the best I could do.

Then, at the last moment, I came across the Dodd, which I'd never seen. I thought it would be perfect. Ophelia looks like she has just died, or is dying, but has been looking up at the sky. With her arms out like that, open, accepting, or in the "orans" position (used in prayer by many peoples over the millenia), depending on how you look at it, it just seemed the best choice for Arwen's death seen by Fimbrethil. And when I began to put it through the filter in various colours, I saw that it took on the "turned to flowers/stars" effect, depending on the colours used, and that clinched it.

I think the Frodo images came out beautifully. It's a gorgeous scene in the film, but the images, even removed from the film's context, are still gorgeous and deeply evocative of what I wanted: a person being winged away in dreams. The filter only enhanced the dreaming quality.

You haven't missed that much, Blossom, for I don't post that often any more. Besides, the last three before this one were all "real life" posts, with nothing to do with Tolkien or Frodo. It's not like the LJ is going anywhere, so you can browse when and where you have the notion.

But your real life has been pressing upon you? Not all in bad ways, I hope. :)

not_alone at 2009-04-26 19:17 (UTC) (Link)
I can't really find words worthy enough to describe the beauty of this post, Mechtild - the words and the pics. It has left me spellbound:)
mechtild at 2009-04-26 20:54 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thank you, Paulie. That's a lovely comment, especially coming from such a Tolkien and Frodo lover. *smooch*
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2009-05-04 18:44 (UTC) (Link)

An enchanted post.

Thank you both.

mechtild at 2009-05-13 15:18 (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome, Estë. :)
frodosweetstuff at 2009-05-05 10:32 (UTC) (Link)
Awwww, that is a great pic of the dancing Entwives!!! Thank you!
mechtild at 2009-05-13 15:18 (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome!
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