Happy Birthday, Frodo: 'Birth Day', a poem by jan-u-wine.
This year I have two splendid poems by jan-u-wine to celebrate September 22. On this, the Eve of the Birthday, I am posting a poem she wrote from the point of view of Primula Baggins, newly the mother of little Frodo. It is simply exquisite. (Tomorrow, on the day itself, I will post another gorgeous poem, written from the point of view of Bilbo.)
To illustrate this poem, I have used a detail from William-Adolphe Bouguereau's "The Young Gypsies" (painted 1879). I think it makes an evocative picture of Frodo and his mother, the young woman's face so lovely but melancholy, as if she already intuits what's ahead for her son, the child rosy-cheeked and cherubic, yet gazing directly at the viewer as if an older child were looking out of those eyes -- observant, self-possessed, wise beyond his years and, as yet, fearing nothing.
It rained that day:
Sweet, gentle grey misted soft outside the Great Hall.
I walked by the river, while the clouds ran, skirring, tumbling black against the sky.
You stirred within me.
Even then, we loved the depthless green shadow of the water's face, even then, loved the silvery willow's bent arms at rest upon her brow.
Even then, before you knew the light, The Light knew you.
It danced and played upon the hills that day….
it wove bands of blue and green and soft-spun red through the sky.
I suppose you must have wanted to touch those pretty things, for you turned again, there, in the dark inside me,
as one who longs for home, and yet must leave it behind…
turned, and struggled in the warm dark.
It was night, deep, black-drowned night when I held you at last.
Yes, I count your fingers and touch each toe in turn.
There are ten
The soft crown of your head, wisp'd by wet darkness, smells of warmth and spiced sweetness, your ears lie like delicate leaves against the pink-and-white of your face.
My thumb traces the bow of your brow:
even then, it was serious, even then, raised questioningly above bright, birth-blinded eyes.
The small, swift song of your heart beats against my hand.
I must laugh at the sweet roundness of your belly, at the soft rose of your mouth opening in protested hunger….
I must cry with my love for you.
I sit by the eastern window and cradle you to my breast.
How many stars there are tonight, my son.
How bright they are, all entwined, lying upon the blessed bridge of the sky.
Somehow, I know that you will love them, as I do.
With the moon glancing, sharp through the window's casement, I sing you a song of Eärendil.
He was a sailor of a far-off Sea, my son,
a mariner, whose bark now voyages within azurite night ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
You sleep, safe within the circle of my arms.
I am glad you are here, at last,
my little one.
~ Second 2009 Birthday post: jan-u-wine's "Heir to the Dreamer" plus new Frodo manip.
Other Links :
Mechtild's LJ entries featuring poems by jan-u-wineHERE.
All of jan-u-wine's Middle-earth poetry, featured at LOTR Scrapbook, HERE.