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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Happy 126th birthday J. R. R. Tolkien, with poem by jan-u-wine.

Posted on 2018.01.03 at 05:54
Tags: , ,

Tolkien - smiling portrait 3-4 view.jpg

Happy 126th Birthday, Professor Tolkien!

I am so grateful this man lived and created such wonders for so many to enjoy and cherish. What Tolkien wrote, even if categorized 'fantasy', always had the ring of truth, from the external settings to the deepest experiences of the characters. Tolkien's lived experience, transformed by creative imagination, resulted in unforgettable art.

Six years ago jan-u-wine, inspired by the photograph of Tolkien below, standing by the sea he loved, wrote a beautiful tribute to the Professor for his birthday. I thought it could do with re-posting.

Tolkien - Shippey cover-RET,CROP,RED.jpg

On the Greatness and Littleness of Being

upon this shore,
a leaden dog
was lost,

these waves

the sway and chime
of a Ring-bearer's Sea Bell.


upon a glimmer'd even-tide,
a swan-prow'd ship

ran out
amongst these rocks....

Perhaps mer-men
and their fish-tailed maids
cavorted here.



He is a
Big Person,

this man.

ever so greatly *small*,

his heart and artist's

filling the mind's vast
sky with the unending stars,


to pluck,
with fragile deliberation,
a single, storied

from the sun-gilded Sea.

He knows of littleness
and greatness,

this man.

He knows.

His face is worn now,
worn by all that is life:

the joys,
the sorrows,

the things he may touch
and those which he never



the eyes which have known
the ever-widening circles of the world,



Full of loves known and yearnings

beyond time,

beyond place,

beyond Wood or Sea,

or Shore,
beyond words

or pastel'd brush-strokes......


Birthdays and blessings.

The former, upon this day,
within the echoing shell
of these hours,

The latter, through the beauty
of your being,

from the grand music
of your pencil,


shirebound at 2018-01-03 13:04 (UTC) (Link)
Ohhhh! I have chills from the beauty and truth of this poem.

his heart and artist's

filling the mind's vast
sky with the unending stars


♥ ♥ to you both for sharing your inspiring bond with us, and ♥ ♥ to the Professor, for bringing us all together.
mechtild at 2018-01-03 13:07 (UTC) (Link)
You are most welcome, Shirebound. I feel so fortunate to have been born late enough to have read the Professor's books. I would hate to have missed them!
jan_u_wine at 2018-01-04 00:41 (UTC) (Link)
thank you so much, SB! We have, all of us, been most fortunate, and the Professor has been no small measure of that good fortune! (as has my fellow Tolkienista, Mistress Mechtild!)
ambree40 at 2018-01-03 14:18 (UTC) (Link)
What a wonderful poem. I love how it begins with a glimpse of the workings of Tolkien's imagination and ends with expressing our gratitude for the world he created.

That picture of Tolkien by the seashore is new to me. It shows the essence of Tolkien just as well as that famous picture of him sitting under a tree.

Thanks to you both, Jan for another beautiful poem and Mechtild for posting it.
mechtild at 2018-01-03 19:57 (UTC) (Link)
Ambree, I'm so pleased you enjoyed the poem. It is apt to my own feelings as well.

I too never saw that photo, or not until I bought a copy of Tom Shippey's book, "Author of the Century". It's on the cover, which I scanned. I think the newer edition uses a different photo. Here's the cover of my edition:

jan_u_wine at 2018-01-04 00:44 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you like the post, Ambree. Mechtild picked some lovely 'flowers' out of the Tolkien Field to illustrate, didn't she?

Speaking of birthdays, congratulations once more on your father's 100th and I hope there was a Party of Special Magnificence!
gilli_ann at 2018-01-03 20:20 (UTC) (Link)
Lovely poem.
And it's so good to "see" you, Mechtild. I hope you are doing well.

(This is Maeglian, btw. I switched names— and added a fandom.)
mechtild at 2018-01-03 21:59 (UTC) (Link)
Hello, Maeglian (Gillian)!!! It's good to see you (virtually), too! You switched names because you added a fandom. Which is it? Perhaps the face in your icon is a clue, but I am (and have been) so out of the loop when it comes to what's on TV and showing at the movies, I can't really tell who that is. Forgive me! :)

Edited at 2018-01-03 10:00 pm (UTC)
jan_u_wine at 2018-01-04 00:45 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Gilli_ann, so happy you liked the poem! And love the clever way you contrived to change your name!
julchen11 at 2018-01-04 03:39 (UTC) (Link)
What a wonderful Tribute to the Professor! This Poem gives me chills, it's so so beautiful.

"The latter, through the beauty
of your being,

from the grand music
of your pencil,

Just gorgeous.
Thank you, my dear, for re-posting it.
Thank you, Jan, for this Grand Music of your pencil.

*raises glass*
mechtild at 2018-01-04 12:43 (UTC) (Link)
Jan-u-wine has the magic touch, eh, Julchen? :)

Cheers!!! And a very joyous new year.
jan_u_wine at 2018-01-05 12:57 (UTC) (Link)
thank you so very much, dear Julchen....so happy that you enjoyed!

Edited at 2018-01-05 12:58 pm (UTC)
bigheart03 at 2018-05-25 13:56 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, my! It seems I haven't visited this magical site since a long time as I was misfortuned not to read this lovely post yet! But alas, here I am now, and I thank you two, Mechtild and Jan_u_wine for this tender remembering and warm birthday wishes! Hugs for you both! <3

P.S.: I must confess I rarely speak in such a manner, but you two moivate and enthuse me greatly. :)
jan_u_wine at 2018-05-26 00:59 (UTC) (Link)
oh, that is so kind, BigHeart! This post and the March 25 one are the only ones we've done for awhile, but there is another waiting in the wings. When life settles down a bit, it will be here, waiting for you.....Until then, may dremes of Middle Earth encloak you!
mechtild at 2018-05-26 02:05 (UTC) (Link)
What a pleasure it is to read such appreciative remarks, BigHeart. You are gracious!
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