~*~

1928 Tumble [Timber] Hill-TEASER.jpg



Happy Birthday, Frodo and Bilbo!





Greetings! Forgive my lack of presence, the combined result of responsibilities to others and creeping decreptitude. :) I am inspired to post, however, because jan-u-wine has written a beautiful new poem in honor of the day, Nothing Is There Better.
Read more... )
~*~

The End of All Things: Rescue by Gandalf and the Eagles by John Cockshaw, penultimate version-TEASER

~ Detail from The End of All Things: Rescue by Gandalf and the Eagles, by John Cockshaw.



This March 25 we present something old, something new. Below the image of Frodo standing at the Cracks of Doom is something old: a poem jan-u-wine wrote years ago, but which I had never read. The Turning of the Road: The Sammath Naur distills events from that last day, letting us see into the heart of Frodo's experience as he is overpowered and nearly destroyed by Sauron, his life, sanity and the fate of Middle-earth preserved only by the madness of Gollum and the love of Samwise.

Below the first poem and an excerpt from Return of the King, is an illustration by John Cockshaw showing the coming of Gandalf and the Eagles, chosen to complement the "something new": jan-u-wine's Cast Up, which follows. The new poem lifts up and makes explicit the hope that is only hinted at in the darker Turning, bearing Frodo, Sam and us readers out of downfall and despair.

Happy Anniversary!
Read more... )
~*~

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.

Read more... )
~*~

Bilbo in kitchen-TEASER


Happy Birthday, Bagginses!

I didn't want to miss offering my favourite hobbits salutations on September 22, but the real birthday post will appear tomorrow. This is because jan-u-ine's poem, "Birthday", is set the day after the birthday has passed. Frodo, for the first time, has forgotten Bilbo's birthday. Join us tomorrow to read this beautiful piece.




* Detail from an illustration by Alan Lee appearing in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, 1997.
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Pierre Vinet Bilbo and Frodo-TEASER



Heavens! I almost missed the Baggins Birthday! I am out of town on a family visit and forgot all about it. Happily, jan-u-wine reminded me in time. This is only a re-post, but raise your glasses with me.

I am sure you all know the images from which the manip is made. Pierre Vinet's FOTR publicity stills are as well-known as they are beautiful.



Happy Birthday Bilbo and Frodo!


Read more... )
~*~

1915 Shores of Faerie-TEASER



The fall of Sauron is always worth celebrating. Fans around the world are reading Tolkien's works aloud, toasting Frodo and Samwise and the victorious army of the West, posting entries, browsing the pertinent chapters or re-watching ROTK.

Jan-u-wine wrote a beautiful new poem in which Frodo contemplates his life from the vantage of Tol Eressëa. He hasn't been there long, still trying to take it all in. It's early days. Bilbo is alive and well, watching, hoping, eager for signs that Frodo has begun to heal. This poem offers those signs. Jan-u-wine's writing allows readers to enter Frodo's inner experience at a pivotal time, the time when healing at last begins.

After reading it I asked immediately, 'could we post this for March 25?' What better way to celebrate the victory of the Free Peoples over the Dark Tower than with a poem in which Frodo finally is able to begin to appreciate the part he played in it.

Read more... )
~*~

Patterns (untitled)-700



In a little over a day, countless fans will be lining up at theatres across the United States to see the premiere midnight showings of The Hobbit. I hope it's huge. But before the celebrating begins, let's pause to savour the beauties of two particular hobbits, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

Theirs is a beauty of spirit and intellect and imagination, of heart, and, for those who recognize such realities, of soul. To my mind, no one better lifts up these qualities than jan-u-wine. I am pleased to the marrow that she has written two new pieces from the points of view of these characters. Read more... )
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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.

Read more... )
~*~





Happy Birthday, Bilbo and Frodo!


This year, for the Baggins birthdays, jan-u-wine has written a pair of related poems, one from Bilbo's point of view, one from Frodo's. The poems are set at the time of Frodo's first birthday after the death of his parents. If they died boating in the summer, the loss, in September, would have been very fresh.

The poems capture both characters beautifully, and in a subtle range of mood. While the poems don't portray a "happy" birthday, they hint at the rich relationship, and many truly happy birthdays, that will come.

Read more... )
~*~



~ detail from a manip by Bandwench.



It was marked on my kitchen calendar. March 25: "Fall of Sauron". The destruction of the Ring and the Tower of Barad-dûr, the rescue of Frodo and Sam, the 'eucatastrophe' from which the hopes of the Free Peoples rose out of the smoke and ash of the Dark Lord's ruin. Of course I would have to celebrate it. Jan-u-wine agreed. But I'd screencapped every bit of the film scenes. In image and verse we'd pored over the destruction and fall and the rescue by the Eagles and the recovery in Ithilien.

It was another, quieter but no less pivotal event that captured my imagination this year, jan-u-wine's too . Re-reading the draft of a letter Tolkien wrote in 1963 to Mrs. Eileen Elgar (who had questions about whether Frodo failed or not), the matter of Arwen's gift of the jewel and her passage to the Undying Lands caught my attention. I sent it on and it provided the catalyst for a new and beautiful piece of jan-u-wine poetry.

Read more... )

The primary illustration for this piece is a manip Bandwench made several years ago, which she called "Prince Elijah". Although the source image was a photo of Elijah Wood, to my mind it was an image of Frodo, but Frodo no longer living in the Shire. To me it was Frodo as imagined across the Sea, dressed in foreign clothes (the Gaffer, surely, would not approve), yet clothes appropriate to one whom Gandalf called Bronwe athan Harthad, who was the King's friend, sung by minstrels, and hailed by armies. Bandwench had made the manip in an array of colour effects, but the one she did in 'gray scale' had the most magic for me, with its soft diffuse glow, revealing a bit of the inner light Gandalf had seen in Frodo as he recovered in Rivendell. I showed it to jan-u-wine and she, too, thought it was stunning, worthy of a poem.

Read more... )
~*~

Autumn is waning here in north-eastern Minnesota. This weekend the leaves are at their peak but they are about to fall. We are having what in the United States is called "Indian Summer", a time deep in the autumn when unseasonably warm weather grants what seems a return of summer. Knowing that it's a reprieve -- fleeting, not here to stay -- makes it all the more precious. Typically we would have had a hard frost by now. All the annuals would be dead, the perennial tops yellowed and wilted over their crowns, the leaves down. We'd be wearing jackets and mittens and caps, not sandals and t-shirts. The soft mildness is sweet, sweeter because one knows it will be gone any minute.

Perhaps something of the intense sweetness of this time, when the growing world is on the cusp between seasonal life and death, is captured in these two beautiful new poems. Frodo revels in the Shire's autumn, actual and remembered, the time when the colour and fragrance of the natural world -- as various and as intense as at summer's height, if the colours and scents are different -- is at its keenest, precisely because it is on the verge of being lost. If it is not to death, it is to something like death, when growth and the promise of life suddenly are no longer accessible to the senses. One must enter winter, head into the time of greyness, of dearth and want, sustained only by hope in what is hidden, but working its revivifying magic under the soil.

But that time is not come, not yet. Not here in Minnesota and not in the Shire of these poems. One more day has come when the natural world glows with topaz and ruby and garnet, living leaf-jewels twinkling in the soft fragrant air. One blast and down the leaves will come, all colour bled from the landscape, scents muted by frost. But not yet, not yet.
Read more... )
~*~




What better way to celebrate The Birthday than with [manipped] photos by the late, great Pierre Vinet and a new poem from jan-u-wine. Happy Birthday, dear Bilbo and Frodo, our most beloved Bagginses.


Read more... )
~*~


*


Nearly seven years ago, Elijah Wood said something about playing Frodo to an interviewer that resonated with many fans. The journalist wrote that Wood, although he had gone on to other roles since the trilogy, nevertheless did not disavow the character of Frodo. "I think at a certain point the attention on those films will die down, but I think I will always be associated, as will everyone else, with those films," Wood told his interviewer. "I'll do other things. But Frodo I think will always be there, like my little shadow." (Raymond Johnston, Prague Post, August 19, 2004). Now Elijah Wood is reprising the role of Frodo, and his "little shadow" will be entering the light once more.

Read more... )
~*~






I couldn't celebrate the anniversary of the fall of Barad-dûr without a positive end note. Here is the last of the three anniversary posts. In this poem, jan-u-wine imagines Frodo, semi-conscious, literally transported, as he and Sam are rescued by the eagles, carried to the safe haven of Ithilien.

To set off the piece, I made some new screencaps of Frodo being borne by the eagles. These were made from the standard widescreen edition of ROTK EE. Thank you, Blossom, for advice on better tweaking screencaps.

Read more... )
~*~





Praise them with great praise, Frodo and Samwise!

Yes, it's March 25, ever so many ages after the destruction of the Ring, but I still feel the need to celebrate the efforts of Tolkien's heroes, who endured so much and risked so much for the sake of their world. So far, this has been a dark, catastrophe-ridden year for much of the world. Some might wonder what is the point of celebrating the deeds of fictional people in fictional crises. But it is the way of great literature to offer an alternate, richer, more intense way to perceive and experience the real world, giving it back to readers freshly observed and appreciated. It is never a waste of time to lift up the good, even if they are fictional. The exemplary are exemplary whether they live in books or the news or the house next door. So let us praise the day and its heroes, and the man who told their story. Praise them with great praise!

Read more... )
~*~


The second of jan-u-wine's winter poems is newly written, inspired by the painting below. This time, we look through the eyes of an older Frodo, a Frodo who has been through much, yet still is trying to take in his parents' deaths.

Again jan-u-wine does her magic, choosing just this and that word, this and that remembered image, to make a poem that takes us inside Frodo's lingering mix of thoughts and feelings. Its pace is like the winter river's, pensive, grave, stilling here and there while memories glance up from its ice-mirrored depths. But the rhythm keeps pulsing along, quiet and deep, like the water in the winter river.

Read more... )
~*~



~ detail from Cassatt's "Mother and Child"


I chose jan-u-wine's short poem Of Mothers and Memories to be the last of the four parent poems because it "feels" last, like a summation of Frodo's feelings about his mother that survived the War, survived his decline after his return to the Shire, perhaps until the end of his sojourn in Tol Eressëa. Read more... )
~*~



~ detail from Monet's "The Pond at Montgeron"


Here we have another splendid "parent poem" by jan-u-wine, its sombre beauty flowing down the page like the river it describes, its joys and sorrows flowing through the consciousness of the boy who lived by it, both its bright surface and unplumbed depths. To accompany the poem, I chose a painting by Oscar Claude Monet (1840-1926).

Read more... )
~*~




~ detail from Harlamoff's "Faraway Thoughts"


Read more... )
In jan-u-wine's "A Hobbit's Bedtime Story", Frodo, still a lad, is remembering bedtimes past, when his mother and father were still alive, presiding over the nightly rituals of getting their beloved boy ready for sleep. Read more... )
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