The Gifting

Author: Baillie From Bree

Nominator: Elanor

2009 Award Category: Genres: Poetry: Hobbits - Third Place

Story Type: Poetry  ✧  Length: N/A

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Frodo leaving Middle-Earth

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Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 10

What a beautiful and sad poem! There is a great depth of feeling and emotion in it, brought to life for the reader by the imagery which any reader of LotR will instantly recognize for what it is, and carried forward by a skillful use of rhyme and rhythm. The poet does not put one step wrong as she shows us the inevitable heartbreak of lost innocence, and brings us at last to the surprise of the last two stanzas, which on reflection brings the realization that it is not so surprising after all. While we are privy to Frodo's sorrow and regret, the starkness of the emotion does not slip over the line to mere pathos; there is nothing here that does not belong. The conclusion to the poem is a very logical development, and feels quite natural. The poem as a whole is so strong that it is very hard to pull out any particular lines, but this stanza in the middle was stunning in its simple truth: ["Thus gone from me was that which was most fair, That, step by step, unknowing, I had sold; And, breath by labored breath, I, unaware, Had spent my shining coin for darker gold."] Frodo's pain and heartbreak are palpable in these stanzas, and through Frodo's words we find the reflection of the wider interpretation of reader applicability. Who of us has not at some time felt this regret? This is a very powerful and moving poem, and it is one to which I will return to read again and again. It is getting to find gems like this that make the MEFAs one of my favorite things.

Reviewed by: Elanor  ✧  Score: 7

This is a song of longing and regret in the hands of a serious writer exploring themes of darkness. The desolation of heart and mind that followed Frodo home from the Ring Quest is illuminated in the dark light of The Gifting. Many, including Tolkien, have tried to manifest the despair that sent Frodo into the West, and most in the end shift the viewfinder from the heart of darkness to the White Star. Baillie from Bree does not flinch in contemplating the agony that accompanies the sacrifice of a bright and brilliant life, or the fact that in such a darkness, the only hope that is not blotted out is the promise of those who will come after. This is a stark work by a poet of considerable power who sees in the broken Ringbearer a metaphor for pain, and a pathway by which to examine it. The greatest gift of The Lord of Rings is the idea of unquenchable hope; the most tragic consequence of the Ring is the psychic blindness that makes it impossible for Frodo to see or feel it again.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

In Frodo Baggins the Marring came to its pinnacle; he hopes that in Frodo Gamgee-Gardner all he himself had once rejoiced in will again excite delight and joy. A finely wrought poem, capturing the grief and experiences Frodo has known well, every other stanza ending almost abruptly; expressing also the hope that can no longer touch his own heart, but that he prays will fill his namesake.

Reviewed by: PipMer  ✧  Score: 3

This is a beautiful, albeit heart-wrenching, poem. It explores the darkness that has come to dominate the Ring-bearer's life. The lack of hope is explored beautifully, and brings one to tears. There is no hope for Frodo, but maybe there will be some for the others left behind, most notably Sam's son. Beautiful!