Author: jan-u-wine

Nominator: Antane

2011 Award Category: Poetry: Hobbits - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Poetry  ✧  Length: N/A (Non-Fiction or Poetry)

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A good gardener knows, without doubt, what is needed for those in his care to thrive. And Samwise is the very best gardener in the Shire..... (note: the secondary URL will take you to Mechtild's LJ, where the poem is a companion to her series of screencaps for Rivendell)

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Reviewed by: Mechtild  ✧  Score: 10

In this poem of the convalescence on Cormallen, Sam is watching the recuperating Frodo sleep, just as he once did in Rivendell, watching over Frodo as he recovered from the wound of the Morgul blade. Sam thought of home then, hoping already to be going home -- a real, expectant hope -- still not realising the gravity of his master's (and his) fate. In this poem, on Cormallen, Sam’s thoughts are also full of home. On Cormallen, though, after so much more, and so much worse than the wound from the Morgul blade, his thoughts of home are notably focused on *Frodo* at home. Sam appears in the imagined scenes, but briefly, like an extra in a play. Enter Squire, with servant pottering in garden upstage left, would be the stage directions. In this poem, the images are envisionings of Frodo, back in the world Sam wants for him, the world Frodo once inhabited so comfortably, with all its small but quietly delicious daily pleasures. Sam sees Frodo at home, he sees Frodo happy at home. Sam’s images are so vivid and compelling, it’s as if he is willing them into Frodo’s sleeping head. Sam wants so badly to see Frodo well again, it's as if the intensity of his recalling of the sight and sound and scent of the Shire, and the feel of being in old haunts and going about old routines, will somehow implant themselves in Frodo's mind. Frodo, to again be happy at home, will be Sam's happiness.

Author response: Poor Samwise. That is a mistake we all make, isn't it, imagining that the trappings of home *are* what home *is*. Frodo, at home, with all that is familiar about him, is still the wounded Frodo, and all those external things would surely make him comfortable, make him smile, make him (momentarily)happy. But in the end, the Frodo who lived in Bag End before the Quest would never inhabit it again. We are wrong when we hang our happiness upon the likelihood of someone else's. And yet I say 'poor Sam' again, for what more, ever, could he have done? And, being Sam, of course he would invest his happiness in that of his master. Which leads to the whole discussion that it was necessary, on that level alone, for Frodo to that Sam would discover, through his heart-break, that his happiness must dwell within himself first. And Frodo, I think, needed, on some level, to fully understand that, as well. Part of his greatness and smallness. And how very great he was, bless him.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 4

Another lovely poem from Jan-u-wine. I like this break in the journey, with Sam watching over Frodo and knowing what it means for Frodo to dream. On the Ring Quest, it seems as if dreams are necessary - one needs that illusory respite to keep going, and Sam can imagine what Frodo is seeing. Or maybe he needs to imagine that Frodo is dreaming of home, so that his own wished-for homecoming can unfurl - all those ellipses are suggestive. Well done!

Author response: thank you, Dwimordene! It's so kind of you to review these, and I am very glad that you enjoyed them.

Reviewed by: Phyncke  ✧  Score: 3

This is as much a visual piece as poetry written. I found I really liked how the poem appeared on the page and that gave it a lyrical feeling. I do believe it succeeds at being a hobbit's wish and I found it worked on many levels.

Author response: Dear Phyncke....I shall have to look at how the pieces look on the page more often! Mostly, they are so long that I don't really see the appearance of them, and I don't have a printer so that I can see them in actual printed form. In any case, lyricism is, always, what I aim for, and the double beauty of the words both sounding and looking wondrous upon the page is surely a bounty. Thank you so much!

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 2

A sweet celebration of Sam's love and hope for Frodo as he watches his treasure sleep peacefully after the Quest is over.

Author response: thank you, Antane. As the saying is: 'where there is life, there is hope'. And Frodo certainly had much more life to him, even post-quest, than many another has in their prime. His journey over-Sea could certainly be seen as an affirmation of that: a bold and daring move on Frodo's part, one speaking more, i think, of his continuing bravery that to despair.