Mechtild (mechtild) wrote,

'An Extra Ordinary Life' ~ a retrospective poem by jan-u-wine, with screencaps from the three films.


Warning: Many images. My apologies to dial-up viewers.

A month or so ago, talking over the end of the screencap series with jan-u-wine, she suggested this poem, An Extra Ordinary Life, as a sort of final retrospective. I thought using it would be a great idea. So I formatted a practice version of the poem, then went about the business of looking for faces I thought would capture the mood of individual speakers, as well as reflecting the arc of the over-all narrative of the poem.*

I knew I would need new screencaps for the retrospective, because, in Jan’s poem, each member of the Fellowship speaks his feelings for Frodo (Faramir speaking for Boromir). Frodo's piece comes at the end. But even for Frodo, I ended up recapping a scene I'd already done, but in widescreen to match the format for the others.

This is a superb poem. It shows Jan's knack for well-chosen detail, but used within a very wide sweep of story, for multiple characters. I love the way she has used so many of the names and titles Frodo receives during The Lord of the Rings, as the characters reflect on what he has meant to them on the Quest and as a friend.

As originally posted at Jan’s poetry archive, the poem is not broken up into sections the way it appears below. But, since it was going to be presented with screencaps, we decided it would work best to let the images and text complement each other, character by character. I love the way it has turned out. For me, the images make reading the texts that much richer. Likewise, the texts illuminate the images.


An Extra Ordinary Life, with images

~ by jan-u-wine


How I watched him.

From the beginning,
of course,
I knew.....

I watched.

I feared for him.

There are things I am granted to See,
and things
not revealed even to me....

things I may alter,

which must be.

From the day of his
I hoped this might have
some other end....

From the day of his birth,
with sorrow,
I knew it would not.

And when the river
those whom he loved,
shadow muted
his bright spirit,
touched his heart with winter,

stole his laughter.

He never really recovered, you know.

I would see him, betimes,
beloved book in hand,
reading within
the gentled green of a Shire Spring....
mind caught to tales of ancient honor,
finger tracing vined thread of
silver-toned Elvish.

Held fast,
held safe,
by the only Home he knew,
the only Home he wished for:

the past.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

He was destined for this.

As if he were forged himself,

his living body
against age-dead, unfleshed evil,

this task was meant for him.

And he,
for It.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I could not See
the ending would be.

Some things are meant to be hidden,
even from the Wise.

I might have fallen,
had I known.....

I might have tried
to save him
from the forfeiture
that saved
us all.

it is well....
it is wise....
that some things
are hidden.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

How long he struggled,
with what strength he fought,
not even my Sight

(My heart speaks to what Sight cannot)

We meet upon a different ground,

His gentle mind,
that once
to me of Spring,
rises like a blank wall
before me.

Is the spirit held within as scarred
as his hand?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I gave you over.....

even though I loved you,

I surrendered you to death....
and worse than death....

yet hoped,
(ever hoped)
for life.

Unlooked for,
Hope remained,

held fast
to Light,

denied Darkness......

Hope endured.

Bronwe athan Harthad.

At the end of it all, as Light failed,
that was your name.

My dear hobbit,

it is of you what remains.


Merry and Pippin:


Our Cousin.

Gentle dreamer,

climber of trees.....

laughing leader
of missions
bent on naught
save the pilfering
of close-held mushrooms.....
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Do you know, Pip,
as we stood there,
so terribly small before the Gate,
and knew we were to

I was not afraid.

Of a sudden,
I heard him,
his voice,
from a summer long gone by,

his voice,
speaking soft
of Beren and Lúthien
(and the stars held within heaven's net)
as I fell towards sleep.

I heard.....
I remembered....
and I was not afraid.


I saw you, Merry,
in that last moment,

I saw you,

dark lying close
about your helm,
so small you might have been kneeling,
sword raised to
ward a blow which did not fall.

Clear, crystalline sunlight, then,
swifting in waves
from the East,
pulling the Dark from the sky,
falling like golden rain upon your face.....

My mind
towards him
with joy.

I felt so proud, Merry.

And young....
I felt young again.

and small.

Very small,
within the wide circle
of the World.

Oh, Merry.

I just wanted to see him,
and hold him safe from the night
as he did for me,
when I was but a child.

I love him.

Dear old hobbit.

Our Cousin.


Faramir (for Boromir):

There is a voice

a voice silenced
for want
of that which you bore.

I told you, once:

I saw his final journey,

the boat,
laden with Light.

He sailed the great River
that runs to the unending Sea...

the same Road
you shall take,
little one.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What would he have
if he but drew breath
this night?

As if his heart were
my own, I know:

He would have
and told you
he loved you.

Can you forgive him
that he loved
Gondor more?


Legolas and Gimli:


How long and dark
the Road you walked.

Only one who had not
a clear view of the ending
might dare a path
forsaken by stars,
abandoned by leaf or whispering stone,

hidden from Light
and the voice of the wind.

Or, perhaps you saw the ending
all too well.

Like an image
twisting within
the Lady's Glass….

all too well…..

all too ill.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, Elendil,
you shall follow the Straight Path.

Elbereth shall guide you still,

Eärendil's silver'd prow
your passage to the paths
hidden beyond the Sun.

In that far green country we shall sing
together beneath the wakened Stars.

Namárië, Iorhael.


Fair words for fair times.

I have no fair words,
Little Master.

No fair words,
not such as may match
your deeds.

Like unto rock you became:

as the ancient bones of the very earth.

Veined with silver light.



It sounds like the marrow of the mountains…..

it sounds like the hammers of dwarvish delving.

It shall be written in runes
upon the doors of my heart.


Noble One.



The Elf-stone:

The ancient, gull-winged
crown of kings
upon my brow.

It speaks of roads
which lead from
(and to)
the Sea.

It speaks of you.

My mind travels back
along the narrow track of time.

It finds the room
in which we met.

I could laugh
at how you sought
to hide your fear,

I could grieve
for the small innocence
without regret,
into the Night.


We are much alike,
Master Periannath.

Our uncertain hearts
were n'er so bold.

Never bold,

only willing.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I am a King, now,

yet still

only a Ranger…
a wanderer of a long-forgotten line.

I am a King.

By the Sight which is granted me,
the circle of the World opens:
it Sings with joy
beneath the Sun,


beneath the darkling blanket
of the Moon.

Because of you,
for you,
it sings.

Even a mighty King may kneel.

Even a man,
grateful beyond words.

The Road you took
shall find its end
beyond the East:

Ernil en Annûn,
Prince of the West,
I name you.

Into the West
our Hope
shall depart.



Such fine words.

Such large words

these folk have.

After a time,
such become
but sound.

without meaning.

I have
no such words.


None such at all.

They did not see you
as I did.

they did not see,
or they would know:
there are no words.



Face scribed
as much by the
of the mountain
as by your own,
the small Light of your
like the narrow
flame of a candle
that has reached its end.

Near impossible it was
to hold to your hand…..

near impossible
to hold
that last thread of you,
slipping away
(wishing to slip away)
into dark fire.

And now…….

I see again
that which they do not,

that which they can not.

I see
that which was there still,
at the end of all things:


Like silver water


silent under the moon,

it falls from you…..

like the memory of stars held fast
in ancient skies,
it flows
from the crooked
beauty of your hand.


I see the Light,
your hand.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So many words.

Not a one of them
as quick and quiet
as my heart can.

So many words.

In the end,
I may say all that matters,

all that needs saying,
with naught but six:

I love him,
whether or no.



[Finish with the dream, Frodo]

With all my heart,
I wish I could,

with all my heart,
I wish it were
with me.

[It is time, Frodo]
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The soft radiance of Light
upon grey sails
fills my sight,

a wind alive with the Sea
lifts with the cries of gulls.

You must understand.


For me,
you must try.

What I did…..


was only what we ought to have done.

I do not know regret.

as certainly
as that Road
led to the Mountain,

this one follows the Sea.

As certainly as I walked
that path for you,

for us

this one I travel for me.

You will let me go,
I know,

you will let me go
into the Light.

As you love me,
you will,

as you love me,

you must.

Think of it
as just
a moment,



in the great River
of time.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Once again,
I bear a burden,

once again,

my head bows

with the weight of a promise given:

I bear the glad burden

of your love,

and promise,

beyond the Light
which falls between us,

this is only fare-well,






* Note: Browsing the trilogy for images was made much easier by the existence of the great site, Darth LotR Screencapture. If you never have visited it, it’s a tremendous resource. The images are on the small side, which is why I first started making my own, but it’s wonderfully well-organized and easy to navigate. If you ever find yourself wondering something like, “now, where was it in the films that Frodo (or any major character) looked such-and-such a way?” this site offers the fastest, easiest way of finding it or something close to it. Even browsing Frodo, the images of whom you’d think I’d have memorized by now, I found moments or scenes I’d forgot existed.

Recent entries:

~ The Houses of Healing Pt. 1: Frodo wakes, plus jan-u-wine’s “Naught to Be Forgiven”.

~ The Houses of Healing Pt. 2: Frodo sees Sam, plus jan-u-wine’s “Harthad Uluithiad” and “Bronwe Athan Harthad”.

Other Tables of Links:

~ Entries with jan-u-wine's poems.

~ Frodo & Elijah Wood screencap entries

~ Mechtild
Tags: fellowship of the ring, frodo screencaps, jan-u-wine, return of the king, the two towers

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