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.

From: [identity profile] ambree40.livejournal.com

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.

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

You are so perceptive, Ambree. Yes, I believe you are right.

From: [identity profile] mews1945.livejournal.com

Jan-u-wine has a way of gripping us by the heart with the spare beauty of her poetry. This made me cry.

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

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".

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

I find a lot of applicability myself, Met....what a sadness the turning of this year has brought. And though I have not lost anyone in my own family, the losses that people I love have borne (and are about to bear) make me sad. We struggle to make sense of just HOW the "gift of man" is a gift. It's hard when, in the giving IS the taking.

And yet, we should not like the Elven gift either, I daresay.

As the autumn deepens, may we find comfort in knowing that time itself does not stop. It goes irresistibly forward and we struggle and heal and continue, as we are meant to. In the future we find beauty and reasons, still, for being and doing, for living.

Even tho it is months yet til Christmas, I'll just say it now: God bless us, every one! ~ not-so-tiny-Jan

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

Yes, applicability is full to overflowing, isn't it? But I agree, the gift of the Elves has its downside, too.

Even tho it is months yet til Christmas, I'll just say it now: God bless us, every one! ~ not-so-tiny-Jan

Guess what? Did I already tell you? There was a therapy dog at the Veteran's Home yesterday, the place where Glen's dad is, such an incredibly cute, happy and friendly little dog, and what was his name? "Tiny Tim." Charles Dickens, may you and your characters live on and on.
Edited Date: 2014-09-24 01:09 am (UTC)

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

no, you didn't tell me. well, bless the animals who love us, all unbeknownest, too.....

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

thank you, Mews. I am not happy for having made such a lovely lady cry, but when i reckon they were tears of the 'joys like swords' variety, I find some comfort.

I do hope you are doing well!

From: [identity profile] lavendertook.livejournal.com

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.

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

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.

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

LT, I can only echo what Mechtild said: a comment most especially beautiful, and worth posting to the wall of self.

And the Lee pictures, which Mechtild choose: nothing might have suited better, I think.

since we've begun our journey here, it has become more and more evident the power that proper pictures and proper words, together, have. It's one of those pairing that geometrically grows in strength because of the union. Hats off to Mechtild for her wonderful choices. And thank *you* for visiting. I hope the job goeth well!

From: [identity profile] mary keesling (from livejournal.com)

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

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

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 Date: 2014-09-24 01:12 am (UTC)

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

Re: A breath of fresh air ~~~~

Dearest Mary, always a joy to *see* you (and how I wish I could, really).

I hope you are finding many moments of 'fresh air', many moments of quiet that is simply that, of deep and sweet sleep, of calm and peace.

The other day, on opening the desk, I came upon the *trove* of poems you had commented on and sent back to me in the mail. Now, there's an email cache, too, but nothing is quite like getting something like that in the mail. There they are, bound up in ribbon, gifts always. Thank you.

Thank you, too, for stopping in to read this offering. It very much does my heart good to know that you like it.

I was commenting to Mechtild the other day that I loved the font, too. Very important, all the visual aspects, and I believe that Mechtild hit the notes perfectly.

Thank you, both, my friends.

From: [identity profile] aliensouldream.livejournal.com

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

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

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. :)

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

you know, ASD, one of the greatest joys in writing is being a part, then, of a community of thought and feeling that grows out of such an effort. I was talking to Mechtild the other day about how time and our lives are like a tapestry. Every moment that has gone before , every moment happening now, every moment happening in the times to come contribute a stitch, a bit of the weave to the fabric of forever. The living voices come and go, but our imprint goes on, always, tied to the past and the future.

We're so fortunate to be a part of the tale, to be able to voice our wonder and our love.

I'm so grateful to share the journey with you, and to know that when i throw a bit into the tapestry, you are there, beside me. What more could I ever ask?

thank you!

From: [identity profile] julchen11.livejournal.com

These words are so lovingly and so you, dear. To me it feels like I can hear your heart beating in every single word,
Words only a poet can say.

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

.....and now your heart and words beat along side mine, part of the tapestry. So very happy that you are *visibly* here again and that you are well and happy!

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

there is no way not to be happy! Carpe Diem indeed!

Seize all of them, squeeze them, run over them with your car, juice 'em into your life-glass!

From: [identity profile] antane.livejournal.com

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 :)

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

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. :)

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

Dearest Antane....so very glad you enjoyed the poem - and aren't the images lovely with it? (yes!). I hope you are doing well.

From: [identity profile] diem-kieu94.livejournal.com

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

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

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. :)

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

Re: Hello Again

Hullo to you as well, Diem! Thank you so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. You've certainly done no harm in not responding to my message....please write me back if you should like to!

Writing is a great boon to me, a great source of joy in my life. I hope that I'll be playing with words for a while yet!

From: [identity profile] bigheart03.livejournal.com

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

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

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!

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

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

hello, Bigheart! It's always lovely to know that people are reading and enjoying with such delight. "Your journal was my daily bread"....what a beautiful, beautiful thought!

Poetry is difficult, I think, for many people to read and understand, to say nothing of reading, understanding and *loving* when your native language is not English (your English is fine, and very understandable!)

Thank you for reading and I am so happy that you enjoyed and even happier that you *waved* at us!

(and I think Mechtild choose THE perfect drawing to accompany the poem!)

From: [identity profile] julchen11.livejournal.com

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.


From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

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!


From: [identity profile] julchen11.livejournal.com

Hey, sweetheart! I'm soooo glad to be back and I feel soooo very good to be back here.
*hugs tight*


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