At first we thought we might post another new poem on the Baggins Birthday. Jan wrote it as her birthday mathom for Frodo. But the last section of this poem, "The Young Squire", with its image of the Road waiting for 'the touch of a lad's dream-held feet' made me think of the day after the Birthday, the day when, in S.R. 1418, Frodo's feet would be carried to places he'd never dreamed of, whether geographical places or interior places.

I asked Jan if I was astray, thinking of the poem written from the point of view of young lad-Frodo.

She replied,

I think that this is actually post-Quest Frodo remembering his young self. All the more-so would he be wistful in remembering that innocence, how he *wanted* to set out upon the road, how he felt its magical call. And all the more so would he know what that setting-out would, in the end, mean to him.

Was it a sad poem, then? No, she said, he would 'grieve not, but find strength (and beauty and many other heart-ish things) in what remains behind' (from Wordsworth's Ode 526, 'Intimations of Immortality'). Neither shall we grieve, but find strength, and beauty, and inspiration, in the life of this unforgettable and beloved character.

Thinking further on that famous line from Wordsworth's Ode, Jan wrote,

You know what else is great? I never noted before, but the name of that piece is *Intimations* of Immortality. Not, simply, "Immortality". No, "intimations"..... something that is alluded to, hinted at (striven for?), something which is hidden behind the parting of a silver curtain, and the onrush of a promised shore. What more perfect verse to use in describing Frodo, whose forever-ness is something that, within ourselves, we are sure of, though it is but hinted at.

Beautifully expressed, Jan. Frodo, "whose forever-ness is something that, within ourselves, we are sure of, though it is but hinted at", hidden. His is a character lit from within, for those with perceiving eyes. Gandalf was the first, but not the only one, to see it.


The Young Squire


I am, yet,
a lad.

A lad,
dreaming beneath

Autumn's bold Sun,

the cloud-blank,
sweated sky

taking my breath,

with gold-green crop,

corn tassels rustled
and brassed,

Spring-sewn barley

laid delicate and
lace-pale by compare.

The little streams,

mind the changing
of the year,

the push of them
on their Sea-journey

the rush of water upon

knowingly sombre.

Fire-smell tints the air,
adding its bitters

to the spice of
deep-foundered leaves

and grain,
gold and

beneath the Sun.

Voles bustle

about the field-endings,
their bristle-brown


against dry-cracked earth.


This is

And my mind

like the clouds-which-are-not,

to the plain beauty

of this homely
place and time,


for those

and the simple

of sweet grasses
within my hand,

the kindly

of the
bright farthing
of the time-Road,


for the touch
of a lad's
dream-held feet.


About the painter of the illustration, "The Young Gardener", 1817:
A leading Russian portrait painter of the Romantic era, Orest Kiprensky (1782-1836) was born in a village near St. Petersburg, an illegitimate son of a landowner.

Although born a serf, he was later helped by his father to enter the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg when he was only six years old. He graduated from the Academy in 1803 and painted a portrait the following year of his foster father, the serf who raised him, Adam Shvabler.

The portrait of Shvabler greatly impressed his contemporaries. A group of experts from the Naples Academy of Arts believed it to be the work of a great master, a Rubens or a Van Dyck, and Kiprensky was required to produce letters from the St. Petersburg Academy testifying he was the artist.


Previous Frodo entry:

~ Happy Birthday Bagginses, 2012, with Jan-u-wine's "Beneath a Birthday Moon" and art by Antonio Mancini.

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

From: [identity profile] aussiepeach.livejournal.com

Beautiful poem, beautiful artwork! It does make me think of Frodo.

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com

I'm a little late in replying, but no less glad that you enjoyed, Peachy!

From: [identity profile] bagma.livejournal.com

What a gorgeous poem! The last tree lines are particularly beautiful, and more poignant after reading Jan's explanation.

I never heard of that painter before, so thank you for posting about him; this portrait is stunning.

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

Thank you, Bagma. I'd never heard of Kiprensky, either. Jan found a small copy of the image on the internet and sent it to me, because the subject had such a Frodo-esque look. From that image I found this larger copy and was able to look him up. Looking at the online gallery of his paintings, he did some very fine work. I'm glad he painted this one if only to inspire Jan to write the poem. :)

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com

dear Bagma....there are some poems that are more of a joy to write than others, and this is one of them. It is doubly joyful when other people like them as well. Thank yoU!

From: [identity profile] mews1945.livejournal.com

Oh, that painting! It could be our Frodo. And the poem is so heart-touching and beautiful. Jan is so gifted.

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

Oh, Mews, I'm so glad you enjoyed this post. Isn't it a wonderful Frodo painting? Jan found a small copy of it and I searched out a big one. Then she wrote this jewel of a poem inspired by it. I love how art in one medium can inspire art in another.

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com

thank you so much, Mews! It means so much that you and other friends enjoy these. (isn't that painting wonderful? It was by the merest chance that I found it.....a very lucky thing indeed!)

From: [identity profile] pearlette.livejournal.com

I'd like to know more about Orest Kiprensky. The painting of his foster father is astounding. :)

I Googled the name Shvabler because it sounds Jewish and I would like to know more, but Google didn't reveal anything more about Adam Shvabler or indeed about any other Shvablers from Russia or anywhere else. :( This LJ post is on the first page of the Google search, btw, so well done. ;)

The young lad in the painting is very beautiful and looks so innocent. He matches the Frodo in my head: dark hair and brown eyes. ;) He looks even younger than Frolijah did! The image well suits Jan's concept of post-quest Frodo musing on his younger self. As ever, her poem is beautiful, evocative and profound. :)

Interesting that the painting is called 'The Young Gardener' ... Kiprensky himself was clearly a Gamgee, a humble lad of humble origins who worked his way up to greatness. :)

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

Thanks for stopping in, Pearl! If you find out more about Kiprensky than is findable Googling him, do let me know. I read the Wikipedia entry and the one at Olga's Gallery, but here's a link to a longer, more detailed bio, which I only just read. In it the last name of the foster father is given as "Schwalbe". I wonder which is correct?


Interesting that the painting is called 'The Young Gardener' ...

When Jan first sent a link to the image to me, I saw the title on it, "The Young Gardener" and assumed what I would see when I opened it would be a painting that depicted a possible Sam. Not. It's a tremendously Frodo-ish painting, isn't it?

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com

I'm so glad that you enjoyed the post, Pearl!

(you know, I've commissioned a couple of our posted "Frodo" works to be made into real paintings.....and I just might do that in this case. Every time I look at this lad, I feel that I know him and always have)

In re Shvabler vs Schwalbe, I wonder if it isn't just a matter of accepted spellings. A couple of months back, I was reading a history of the English court. I was amazed at how variably names might be spelled. I have no idea how they ever made sense of it all. But, in any case, I wonder if that could be the answer here. Except for the 'r', the names are not far off from each other. It also could be that, if, in fact, the step-father *was* Jewish and there was persecution going on, the name might have been changed to something more palatable.

Here is a link with yet more info on Orest:


If you know any Russian LOTR fans, I think the spelling question would be well put to them.

Thank you again!

From: [identity profile] not-alone.livejournal.com

Mechtild - that pic is amazing! Apart from being a lovely picture in its own right, the young man is so Frodo-like! Thanks for the info about the artist - such an interesting story.

And of course, Jan's poem is so beautiful - evocative and deeply moving as always.

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

Isn't it wonderful, Paulie? What a find. That Jan, she knows how to browse images, ey? I had never seen this painting or come across the work of this accomplished painter before. And what a poem it prompted. *sigh*

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com

thank you so much, Paulie! So happy you enjoyed the post!

From: [identity profile] lavendertook.livejournal.com

That is a wistful poem in it's retrospective narration and look on the lad in the painting. I love the "dream-held feet." Beautiful.

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

Thank you, Lavender! I am so glad the post pleased you.

I love the "dream-held feet."

Me, too.

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com

there is that lovely, iconic monarch.......

so very happy that you liked the poem and its companion painting, LT!

you know, sometimes I get stuck for an ending, as was the case here. The poem threatened to go off on its own. But thankfully, the dreme-held feet touched the magik road and y'all were saved from another five or six (thousand) verses.

So glad you like!

From: [identity profile] antane.livejournal.com

I don't know how I missed this but I did - sorry!! I love the sweet picture and jan-u-wine's reflections on her poem and of course, the poem itself and Frodo's thoughts of himself.

Hope you both had a great Thanksgiving! I am certainly thankful for you two.

Check out my own journal page because the book on LOTR that I have been writing for years is out at last! If either or both of you want an autographed copy, send me a private message and I can give you the address to check your check too. You can also order from the publisher and have it sent to me but you would pay more in shipping that way.

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com

thank you so much, Antane! I'm glad you enjoyed the entry.

I had a very busy T-day. I hope that yours was lovely and peaceful.

It's so great that you've published your book. I will get the e version when they have that feature fixed.

One o' these days, perhaps i will have a li'l book o' my own....

take care, dear!

From: [identity profile] antane.livejournal.com

That would be great if you did write one, my dear! I'll be the second one to buy it. (I know Mechtild would be the first so I won't even try.) :)

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com

lol! well, I imagine that you'd both be getting copies gratis, dear! (really, I have plenty of material for a book, it's other matters that have always stopped me. But I think that perhaps i am at least beginning to wrap my head 'round the whole thing) Thank you for the encouragement!

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

I'm so glad you got to read this one, Antane. I thought it was beautiful. I'll send you a private message re: the other. :)


mechtild: (Default)

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