After Amputations: 1. After Amputations

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1. After Amputations

(Author’s note: After the loss of a limb many people experience the sensation of a phantom extremity, which can sometimes be painful. The speaker in this poem is Maedhros, following the loss of his hand.)

After Amputations, by Ithilwen

A hand of searing air you did transplant

To bloody wrist by sweeping slash of blade;

How can such savage pain, so penetrant,

Within ethereal flesh be ever made?

Absences too often can burn inside a heart –

Through pride and war a beloved father lost;

Both friends and kin now cruelly ripped apart

By argument, and ocean’s vast expanse uncrossed,

And through the ruthless toll in treasured lives

The fearsome return passage did exact

With storm’s and frost’s and hunger’s bitter knives

While wandering dark frigid wastes untracked;

And a city fair, cast then aside in haste,

Now with regret in fragile memory held –

White walls with iridescent jewels traced,

The cherished home where I in childhood dwelled;

But most of all my tortured heart does cry

From cruel loss of innocence once my own,

Unwittingly destroyed in bloody acts that I

Will forever mourn but cannot now disown.

Both soul and flesh shall always suffer anguish

To which I must somehow become inured;

No hope these hurts to ever extinguish,

For phantom pains can only be endured.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Ithilwen

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Poetry

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/14/03

Original Post: 09/19/02

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WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

After Amputations

Chathol-linn - 15 Feb 08 - 3:27 PM

Ch. 1: After Amputations

 I love to read this poignant lament.  The loss of Maedhros's hand recalls a greater loss to Middle-earth  - the departure of the Elves.  It never fails to stir my emotions. Excellent job. - Chathol-linn

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