Happy 126th birthday J. R. R. Tolkien, with poem by jan-u-wine.
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.
On the Greatness and Littleness of Being
Perhaps, upon this shore, a leaden dog was lost,
perhaps these waves
bore 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,
Yet, ever so greatly *small*, inside,
his heart and artist's fingers
filling the mind's vast sky with the unending stars,
to pluck, with fragile deliberation, a single, storied shell
from the sun-gilded Sea.
He knows of littleness and greatness,
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
Weary, the eyes which have known the ever-widening circles of the world,
Full of loves known and yearnings unfulfilled,
beyond Wood or Sea, Mountain
or Shore, beyond words
or pastel'd brush-strokes......
Birthdays and blessings.
The former, upon this day, within the echoing shell of these hours, yours.