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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

"The Lady Elanor" by jan-u-wine, with three paintings.

Posted on 2010.03.03 at 08:44
Tags: , , , ,

Here begins a series of entries featuring poems by jan-u-wine, paired with art chosen to set off the pieces. The poem below twists my heart with its emotional power, yet it's written with Jan's characteristic reserve. In it, her eye for detail and painterly way with words depict with vivid economy what might have been Elanor's interior experience as she braces herself for the departure of her beloved father. Written to movie-verse, with its child Elanor (rather than the book's baby Elanor), she can remember the one to whom he sails, the quiet scholar and former master of Bag End, who dandled her on his knee, the hero of her father's tales, now gone into the West.

The paintings are identified at the bottom of the post.

~ Mechtild


The Lady Elanor

~ by jan-u-wine

(A grey-crowned head rests upon folded arms -

sleeping fingers,

blunt'd by long care and earth's caress,
yet hold the quill to leaf-thin page….

Square, careful letters,
homely contrast

to the round, erratic
that went before,

line the many pages.

It is finished.

It is time)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

A mere taste of wind
danced the high clouds to-day.

A voice,
familiar, dear,
finds me in the garden,

its greeting into my ear.

His old cloak holds him warm from the breath of the Sea.

The book is beneath his arm.

My throat tightens.

He does not know I remember.

Oh, Da.

I remember.

So small I was,
yet smaller still he seemed,
that day.

Even the sound of his feet upon the road
diminished beneath his grief……

even Mum's kiss,
so gentle-sad upon his cheek…..

even my arms,
tight with love about
his neck,

did not bring him back
to us.

And though the sun shone,

I saw the grey-green of a ragged Sea
reflected in far-off eyes……..

and a book,
(this same book,)
held close to him,

tight to his heart,
as if by holding it,
he might keep-safe
that which was lost.

He looks a bit lost,
himself, today…..

and yet

as one in hope of being found.

I show him the roses, now,

the ones he named for me:
Airë-seldë-elennanórë a meril.**

How well they grow here:

fragile poppy-paper pink,
dash-of-lemon yellow,

swaying like children held
captive by the dance……

clinging to sand-mixed earth.

We take tea upon the bench in the garden.

It is strong, this tea.

All the long way from the house of the King
it came,

a gift of our Lady to the last of the Ringbearers.

Her letter, the gentle flow of silver-toned words
soft upon gold-limned parchment,
stays upon his knee.

He is looking to where the Towers lie.

I follow his eye.

Almost beyond vision,

a slip of white shines upon the blue throat of the Sea.

This time, it shall be me who will return alone from the harbour.

Never shall a ship stay for me upon the turning of the tide.

I fasten the clasp of his cloak about his throat.

He kisses my forehead.

All the words I have learnt at the feet of my Lady,

all the words like music, by means of which
I might bid him farewell,
leave me.

I understand the bitterness of her choice now.


In that far land,

beneath the lamps which were lit from the World's

oh, Da….

remember, please, your Elanorelle.


Da, Namarie.

**literally: Sea-child, star-rose. The word elennanórë means star-wards.


"Atmospheric Landscape" ~ Emil Carlsen
"Monet's Garden at Giverny" ~ John Leslie Breck
"Far Away" ~ Michael F. Wood

Previous entry:

~ Sweerts, Michael: 'Self-portrait', plus jan-u-wine's "At the Last", 1-30-10.

Other Links:

~ All entries featuring jan-u-wine's poems.


shirebound at 2010-03-03 15:20 (UTC) (Link)
Oh my goodness, how lovely! I'm all teary now (good tears), and the paintings set off this poem beautifully. I'm especially moved because my current story is about Sam leaving Middle-earth.
mechtild at 2010-03-03 16:01 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you enjoyed the piece, Shirebound. Sam's leaving has produced so much moving fiction. Best wishes as you work on your own. :)
rakshi at 2010-03-03 16:23 (UTC) (Link)
Exquisite as always. One of the most poignant moments in all the 'Lord of the Rings' lore. My beloved Sam. So glad to go... and yet so sad.


mechtild at 2010-03-03 16:48 (UTC) (Link)
I'm pleased we pleased, Rakshi. Jan paints delight and joy well, but she is, perhaps, even better at the sadder, more bittersweet aspects of the world of Lord of the Rings. Which is a good gift, since the story is shot through with "love mingled with grief" (Galadriel in the movie, Haldir in the book). Rather like real life, I think. (Don't know how the book got so many accusations of "escapist" when it came out.)
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2010-03-03 16:49 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, our dear Elanorelle! I love how this picks up from the second epilogue. That last pic fits her wonderfully.

Almost beyond vision,
a slip of white shines upon the blue throat of the Sea.

I love this image.

Never shall a ship stay for me upon the turning of the tide.

; ;
mechtild at 2010-03-03 17:01 (UTC) (Link)
Hasn't Jan got a way with words? She'd credit the Muse, but wherever it comes from, she does seem to have magic up her sleeve.

I'm glad the last picture suited for you, Lavender. I had thought Jan had emailed it to me last year when we were sending each other pics we'd found browsing the Internet. She says not. So I must have found this one. The net is wonderful for stumbling across pictures one would never find otherwise. :)
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2010-03-03 18:27 (UTC) (Link)
In a way, I suppose she has to go through many of the feelings Sam went through when Frodo sailed, but without the prospect of seeing her father again in this life. So, in a way, she may have found this parting even more bitter than her father did, decades before. Yet it would not be all sadness, for who could not experience some joy knowing the one they loved, in leaving, would be realising a long-cherished wish, even a destiny, which would be a grief to them not to fulfil?

Thanks for stopping, Mews! :)

Edited at 2010-03-03 06:28 pm (UTC)
Map-Maker, Lighthouse-Keeper
marinshellstone at 2010-03-03 19:13 (UTC) (Link)
wow. Just...wow. Thank you for this. Gorgeous.
mechtild at 2010-03-03 23:19 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Hadara! I'm so pleased this piece came together for you. I think it's just gorgeous writing. :)

(love your Gandalf icon)
not_alone at 2010-03-03 22:07 (UTC) (Link)
>>The poem below twists my heart with its emotional power<<

That's exactly how it affects me too, Mechtild - so very moving. I know I've said this before, but Jan's way with words fills me with awe. And the pics are just perfection (I've been lucky enough to actually see Monet's gardens). The last pic especially couldn't be more perfect - it's so beautiful, this whole post is so beautiful:)
mechtild at 2010-03-03 23:17 (UTC) (Link)
YOU'VE SEEN THE GIVERNY GARDENS????? Oh, Paulie! I saw them when I was Googling for a bigger copy of that painting. They're fabulous looking.

Thanks for commenting, Paulie. Jan really shows her best moves in this piece. Sorry for the sporty expression. Must be the winter Olympics seeping in. :)
verangel at 2010-03-04 04:10 (UTC) (Link)
Its late and I was going to wait and then...I read a few words and I was totally embraced in it. I have tears running down my face and feel so solumn, so intently moved and thoughtful over these words and the pictures and what it meant to her and what it meant to him. The last picture was so sad and beautiful. It was simple and said so much. I could *see* it happening.
It IS so powerful. (the tears are still releasing and just sorta there)
Thank you both so much. The beauty you give to us is such an amazing gift and I am so thankful you are here.
hugs you xoxoxoxox v

Edited at 2010-03-04 04:13 am (UTC)
mechtild at 2010-03-04 14:22 (UTC) (Link)
Doesn't Jan do wonderful things in this? I'm so pleased the poem and illustrations stirred your thoughts and touched your heart. There is no higher praise.

Thanks, Verangel, for stopping, and for such a grace-filled comment.
julchen11 at 2010-03-05 21:17 (UTC) (Link)
What a breathtakingly beautiful post, mechtild. The pictures go so well with jan's very very moving poem. I can feel the sadness of Sam's daughter and how sure she knows he just MUST go.
I can't put into words what I'm feeling right now.
What a poignant moment.

Thank you so much, my dear friends.
You made my night!

mechtild at 2010-03-05 22:55 (UTC) (Link)
Julchen, I'm so glad the poem and paintings were a moving experience for you. I just love Jan's work in this. What a craftsperson she is, and how well she can get into the minds and hearts of her characters.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2010-03-13 11:35 (UTC) (Link)
A beautiful post. Jan’s words and your choice of illustrations touched me deeply.

mechtild at 2010-03-14 00:24 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Estë, for saying so. I love it when our work pleases the discerning reader. :)
antane at 2010-04-10 21:31 (UTC) (Link)
That last picture could be Elanor (had she been a woman, instead of a hobbit) watching out, remembering. Quite moving. I thought at times what it must have been for the Gamgee clan to lose both their parents so close together, but while Sam could live without one half of his heart, he could not live without both halves, so they would have understood I think how he had to leave to be with the treasure he had let go physically so long ago, but never let go in his heart. God bless.
mechtild at 2010-04-22 03:33 (UTC) (Link)
That is a very interesting thought. I am sure the Gamgees understood his going and supported his choice. Maybe, having grown up on the tales of the War, they found it virtually inevitable. The grown children of Merry and Pippin must have felt similarly, since Merry and Pippin also left the Shire and their extended families once they were widowers, to return to the people and places where they had been through so much. For the Shire veterans, however rich their peacetime lives, the experiences they shared and the bonds they formed during the Quest must have been indelible, integral to the people they came to be. Perhaps I should think of Frodo not as the member of the Fellowship who left, but as the forerunner of the rest.
antane at 2010-04-23 17:55 (UTC) (Link)
I hadn't thought of it that way before - that Frodo was not just the only one who left, but the first and we must also include Legolas and Gimli not remaining either. I agree that the Gamgee children would have supported their father's choice and known of it all their lives, for even though Frodo was not physically present, he would have been a strong presence nonetheless.

I just love your tagline of because a sanctuary for those who don't want to be cured. Frodoholic and proud of it! :) Or more accurately FrodoandSam-aholic.

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)
mechtild at 2010-04-23 19:09 (UTC) (Link)
That's right, Gimli and Legolas, too. Only the one surviving Man of the Fellowship, Aragorn, did not leave his land before he died. Perhaps it was because Aragorn, alone of the Fellowship, had a destiny that was fulfilled this side of the Circles of the World, fulfilled by taking upon the kingship, and by becoming the husband of Arwen and producing with her an heir sprung from the two kindreds. Or something like that. :)

Edited at 2010-04-23 07:09 pm (UTC)
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