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NF-Lee's 3/4 Frodo sketch

The Baggins Birthday, the Day After ~ a new poem by jan-u-wine, with drawings by Alan Lee.

Posted on 2014.09.23 at 06:06
Tags: , , , ,

Bilbo at open door-TEASER

Happy Late Birthday, Bilbo and Frodo....

I have said this is a new poem, but technically it is not. Jan-u-wine wrote "Birthday" late last fall, too late to post in the 2013 Baggins Birthday entry. I considered posting it during the intervening months, but the poem really is best suited to the day after September 22.

"Birthday" is about Bilbo, but it is just as much about Frodo, from whose point of view it is written. From that vantage point, we can enter into Frodo's thoughts and feelings, marveling as much at the beauty of his soul as that of the beloved hobbit he both mourns and celebrates.

A blessed birthday to you, Bilbo and Frodo, and may we meet beyond the Circles of the World.


Bilbo at open door-FULL IMAGE


How might I forget?

How might I forget:
the very trees remind me,
burnt orange-red,

swift-falling leaves

fiercely recalling
the waist-coat he especially wore
in autumn,

the smudge-black of shadow'd bark
recollecting his quick,
clever eyes.

How might I forget
when I hear his voice,

calling within
the fading of the day,

rose clouds surrendering
to moon-graced night,

a little wind

among the waves
of an unseen shore.

Even the green of the grasses,
deep along the curve of a sundered road,
remind me of him,

even the silent glint of a solitary star
or the kindly song of a stream,

laughing along its course.

How might I forget?

And yet, I have.


The road is deep in warm-autumn dust,

trees fragile with faded leaves,
falling with gentle sorrow where now he rests.

I stay for a while beside him,
though he has gone.

I stay for a while,
my mind strayed to other times,

other places.

His old walking stick lies,

upon the ground
at my side,

the carved bowl of his favorite pipe,

within my hand.

Forgive me, Uncle.

I did not remember the day.

I sought out,
in my grief,

all of them,
all of them

we shared.

Each moment of them,
an Adventure,

each hour a schooling
of heart and mind,

each day a
birth day.

Thank you, Uncle.

Never shall I forget

birth days.

Bilbo in kitchen-FULL IMAGE


* Drawings by Alan Lee, from headings of chapters 1 and 2 of The Hobbit (Houghton Mifflin, 1997).

Most recent Frodo entry:
Barad-dûr and Mt. Doom, variation 2, by John Cockshaw-ICON ~ "Hope" by jan-u-wine, art by John Cockshaw.

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


shirebound at 2014-09-23 12:46 (UTC) (Link)
Lovely. This truly draws us into Frodo's heart, mind, and soul.
mechtild at 2014-09-23 20:43 (UTC) (Link)
I call it lovely, too, Shirebound. I think it's one of my favourites.
ambree40 at 2014-09-23 15:26 (UTC) (Link)
Such a lovely poem, Jan.
Frodo has so much to forget before he can be at peace and finally leave Arda himself. A birthday is of no great importance as long as he is reminded of Bilbo’s voice, his eyes, even his waistcoat, by everything around him.
mechtild at 2014-09-23 20:46 (UTC) (Link)
You are so perceptive, Ambree. Yes, I believe you are right.
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2014-09-23 20:57 (UTC) (Link)
Me, too, Mews. :( This is one of those pieces (why not, as LOTR is one of those pieces itself) that has so much "applicability". There have been a lot of losses this year among my acquaintance, beloved family members who have died. I think this poem, exploring Frodo's feelings after the loss of his dear Bilbo, affects me even more than when I read it nearly a year ago. Yet there is sweetness in the tears, not just grief. Gandalf said it better, "not all tears are an evil".
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2014-09-24 00:29 (UTC) (Link)
This is beautiful, Jan. It's got more of the sweet than the bitter in it--more joy at the memory of time spent in good company than sadness at the loss--what a wonderful place to be and so glad Frodo has found it in contemplation of his beloved mentor/parent.

I love the phrase "moon-graced night."

This is a poem I will try to keep with me--a lesson in how to move past grief through gratitude for the time you had with the lost one.

Alan Lee is good at evoking this feeling, Mechtild--a sadness with more joy in it.
mechtild at 2014-09-24 01:06 (UTC) (Link)
Egad, Lavender, what a beautiful comment. I agree, as you might guess, with everything you said, including about the Alan Lee drawings posted with this piece, but you say it so eloquently. This, especially, I should post on my wall:

This is a poem I will try to keep with me--a lesson in how to move past grief through gratitude for the time you had with the lost one.
Mary Keesling
KeeslingMary at 2014-09-24 01:08 (UTC) (Link)

A breath of fresh air ~~~~

BIRTHDAY is very beautiful-- it speaks to all of us, because all of us at some point have forgotten someone's birthday, someone who was very important to us. I
enjoyed the artwork very much as well -- dear Alan Lee !!

My favorite moments in the Poem--
"fiercely recalling "

"calling within the fading of the day " is very beautiful and
"rose clouds surrendering to moon-graced night "
---so very lovely !

also -- "among the waves of an unseen shore"
-- it is amazing how very evocative just a few well-chosen
word can be.

The font used for BIRTHDAY very atmospheric ----forgive me , this is a little disjointed --I'm tired, but happier for having read the lovely birthday poem ---thank you both very much.
Love from Mary
mechtild at 2014-09-24 01:12 (UTC) (Link)

Re: A breath of fresh air ~~~~

Mary, (((((((((((((((((you))))))))))))))). How gracious of you to stop by, read and comment, you who must be spent. But I am glad you did. I am sure Jan's piece, and Frodo in it, will do you good.

Edited at 2014-09-24 01:12 am (UTC)
aliensouldream at 2014-09-24 23:56 (UTC) (Link)
each day a
birth day

What a glorious thought. This is the most loving whole-heart tribute that Frodo could make, in all its quiet love of nature, landscape and little things, a song of the very qualities that Bilbo had and awoke in him. At Bilbo's side, discovery was a constant, the years a continual conversation of the richness and magic in life. Their life together was unplanned and yet it was the saving of them both, a daily gift. The ache of separation is the measure of that love. But there is no loss here. Frodo sees, hears and feels with and for Bilbo still.

Thanks, Jan, for this wonderful poem, and Mechtild for bringing it to us. Part of an amazing cycle of work we have been so lucky to experience xxx
mechtild at 2014-09-25 01:12 (UTC) (Link)
Aliensouldream, I am so pleased you stopped by. This is such a fine piece, dedicated to such fine characters. But you have said it better, why it is threaded through with the sadness of loss yet is not sorrowful:

"Their life together was unplanned and yet it was the saving of them both, a daily gift. The ache of separation is the measure of that love. But there is no loss here. Frodo sees, hears and feels with and for Bilbo still."

Thank you so much for this eloquent and perceptive comment, ASD. :)
antane at 2014-10-07 23:55 (UTC) (Link)
Sorry to be so late here - just saw this. I love the art, I hadn't seen those before. Poor Frodo to be bereft of such a beloved uncle, part of his own heart and soul, a mirror to himself as scholar and loving the same things. But he has these beautiful memories so well portrayed here. Le hannon, my dears!

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)
mechtild at 2014-10-12 01:02 (UTC) (Link)
I, too, am just seeing your reply. Sorry not to have checked back at LJ sooner. Thank you for stopping in, and I am glad you enjoyed the poem and images. Blessings to you, Antane. :)
diem_kieu94 at 2014-10-18 14:28 (UTC) (Link)

Hello Again

Ah, lovely work as usual!! Jan, 1) You are an incredible poet!! , and 2) I offer you my deepest apologies for not responding to the message you sent me concerning your poem "Hope"! *Sigh* I guess I was caught up in the tides of life! Anyway, keep on writing your moving words as you always do!! Sincerely, Diem Kieu
mechtild at 2014-10-21 02:52 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hello Again

It's a beautiful piece, I agree. Jan-u-wine is an artist. Thanks for stopping by, Diem Kieu. It's never too late. :)
bigheart03 at 2014-10-21 15:19 (UTC) (Link)

on "Happy Late Birthday, Bilbo and Frodo"

I just want to say THANK YOU, Mechtild and Jan for the posts and poems! Your journal was my daily bred, Mechtild for some months! Now I haven't looked in since about two months and I felt a longing after it! :) It was a delight for my soul to read this entry with the (again) beautiful poem and the sensitive drawing! (My english is quite poor, sorry for that, but I hope you'll understand what I would like to say. (: ) And thank you all for the sharings, it is always so amusing to read all the comments! Love: BigHeart
mechtild at 2014-10-24 02:02 (UTC) (Link)

Re: on "Happy Late Birthday, Bilbo and Frodo"

BigHeart, hearing that a reader has really enjoyed what we've made is music to the ear. Your English is just fine! :)

Jan-u-wine is a sterling Tolkien-based writer and I have loved presenting her work. If you have been using the link to all her poems featured in posts on Mechtild (the link at the bottom of the page, below the poem and illustration, also on the right in the side bar menu), you will see what a treasure trove is here. I am so glad we have given you pleasure!
julchen11 at 2015-01-02 12:35 (UTC) (Link)
Soooo beautiful, I barely dare to breath. Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, quiet, so quiet...
It's a masterpiece.

I can't tell you how much I missed you your posts and Jan's poems.

Thank you so much, my dear.

Now I'm back and there's a lot to read it seems. So you will see me now and then.
Happy new year to you, my dear! I know it will be a wonderful one, as wonderful as life is.

mechtild at 2015-01-06 21:33 (UTC) (Link)
Good heavens! Julchen! It's good to see you in print. I have heard you've had a terrible, dangerously ill year. I'm relieved to see this sign that you are truly feeling better. Hurray!

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