Happy Birthday, Frodo and Bilbo!
~ Bilbo Baggins, Esquire: two views, sketches by Alan Lee.
~ Bilbo Baggins by Daniel Reeve, prop drawn for Bag End scene in ‘An Unexpected Journey’.
Another year, another anniversary of the Baggins birthdays. This year jan-u-wine’s mathom is ‘A Welcoming’, written for the occasion. I love this poem, understated and quiet yet suffused with a feeling of rising hope. The poem is set in Tol Eressëa, and Frodo is already feeling the effects of its balm, of sunrise and new mornings and freshness. I want to bury my face in it like an armful of new-cut apple blossoms. It's still the night under moon, but the reader can feel, almost see the growing light. I chose Blakelock's painting of a creek at night, the moon radiant but obscured by branches, to suggest that sense. The drawing by Alan Lee below was made during the filming of LOTR and is my favorite Frodo portrait.
For Bilbo I have posted one of my favorite pencil studies of pre-quest Bilbo by Alan Lee (done before the LOTR films), sensitive and subtle, and what is my favorite drawing of Martin Freeman in the role, a portrait sketch by artist Daniel Reeve that appeared among the props in Bag End in the opening of ‘An Unexpected Journey’. I love the “Bilbo-ness” it manages to capture, no histrionics, just straight-on, straight-up Bilbo.
Raise your glasses, ladies and gentlemen, to the Shire’s finest (well, plus Sam).
Below: ‘A Waterfall in Moonlight’ by Ralph Blakelock, 1886:
the dark pocket of velvet
And I, treading quiet
upon this lost path,
my thoughts tumbled
as grey stone,
road-dust sweetly cold
against my feet.
A bird wakes in the tangle-bush,
noting my passage.
It is nothing,
Only a wanderer,
unsure of his way,
only a mariner,
in search of a Sea,
only an orphan,
yearning for Home.
The Sun is rising now:
the fringe of Her cloud-cloak
bespeaking a day of autumn’d fire.
A new-morn smell lies upon the wind,
tender and fierce all at once,
sweet and homely-plain,
like rough rounds of honeyed seed-cakes
cooling upon a sill.......
like a just-born babe
pink-warm within its swaddle,
like every Road
that ends in the gentled light
How easeful the orange fire-dragons
yet breathing within the grate,
how fragile the curve of elanor about the door,
how odd my cloak resting (at last, at last!)
upon its familiar peg….
How grateful the heart which has missed them all.
~ Frodo Baggins, portrait sketch by Alan Lee.
The Road, Taken, the book of poetry and illustrations that jan-u-wine and John Cockshaw have been working on for over a year, is now available for purchase on line. I’ve received mine and it’s absolutely GORGEOUS. Congratulations, Jan and John!
Here's an image of the cover:
Go to Oloris Publication’s page HERE.
If you haven’t listened or watched before, get a luscious taste of The Road, Taken from this video John Cockshaw put together, linked HERE.
Evocative music plays, John's illustrations moving across the screen, as he gorgeously reads excerpts from jan-u-wine's poems. It's a beautiful two minutes.
For more of John’s art, visit his website and lose yourself: From Mordor to the Misty Mountains: Original artwork inspired by the tales of Middle-earth .
Special Note to bigheart03:
You sent me a private message about friending this journal and about my story "Threshold" (thank you so much!). However, LJ says I can't reply to your message because of your privacy settings. I went to your profile on LJ, but the option to send you a private message there also was barred. I would love to answer your message if there is a way. :)
Previous entry:~ For March 25, 2015: "The Turning of the Road: The Sammath Naur" and "Cast Up" by jan-u-wine, art by John Cockshaw.