Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jake At 25 and at 27

Thought it would be a good time to take another look at a poem that Jake's father wrote for him:

At 25
a man now stand you
on roots no one can claim
as good as you
(pure born god-son
look at you anywhere
across the globe).
At birth you were blue
I witnessed you suck
that first breath in and turn
as white as snow on top
of Everest. Pure. Pure.
Goodness and Mercy.
Jumble of words my only
clue to give to you
for your mountain view
to burn the libraries
and burn us too
(all that’s come
before you.)
Your (my side) grandfather’s
head handed him
on a silver Salome platter (he knew
more than he could hold on to)
and your great grandfather
stumbled and I shamble
and out of the phoenix ash
of my/your ancestral men you flew
out of the John Baptist ash
you flew beyond the pebbles
in the Jordan where we, the men
before you wash our sad, sad feet
but not for naught—the truth
when sung soothes far beyond
all gold.
I remember your grandfather
(not sober) singing, weeping
in my high gliding stone dead
gothic church—
“A voice of one, crying
in the wilderness, prepare ye
the way of the Lord.”
I remember holding you, screaming
with good rage in a Sea Ranch night.
Taking you outside under the moon
and the giant pines—screaming, screaming.
Holding you. I didn’t know what else to do.
Kicking. Screaming with good rage
till you slowly trembled yourself into rest.
Forgive us, Lord, we know
not what we do.
Good rage. Burn us to the ground.
Good rage. So little good seems
to have come of John the Baptist
and what followed. Your grandfather
loved John the Baptist. Wept and sung
his words and went too easily
into their good night
which I won’t do.
All these words and others too
are here for you, may they be true.

~written by Stephen Gyllenhaal. Originally published in Claptrap: Notes from Hollywood, (Cantara Books, 2006)

(taken from a post on IHJ)

Thanks to IHJ for today's birthday surprise - a new picture of Jake (with Reese and her children):

Jake has probably gotten some wonderful insight - about his father, himself and how children will affect his own life - from reading his father's words.

(Photo courtesy of IHJ.)

Birthday bonus - outtakes from the Esquire shoot:

More at Jake Gyllenhaal Info.


FluorescentLamp said...

Thank you for posting that, UV. The poem AND the picture from the Pier. Both have my eyes welling up.

And thanks for posting mini-Jake in the earlier post. I love that little 10 year old boy.

sass said...

Hi Sarah,
such powerful imagery...and so intimate. Jake is loved, by his family, by all of us and by his new little family.
He has to be having a really great birthday.
Happy times all round.

smile said...

"Wept and sung
his words and went too easily
into their good night
which I won’t do."

Seems Stephen Gyllenhaal might have been inspired by Dylan Thomas, whom I love, as much as I love some places in South Wales and the South of England.

Perhaps not lighthearted, but nevertheless a wonderful poem, which, in the end, speaks of the love we feel for the ones close to us.

But this is a bright and wonderful birthday, therefore I give you one more of Dylan Thomas, even if Jake is not yet 30.

Thanks again for this lovely blog with your true, unique and heartfelt celebrating of JG.

smile said...

Hi Felicia and Sass,
it all boils to that same feeling, it´s all about love in the end, isn´t it. I got the same vibe from reading the last two posts, he´s loved and this is a wonderful thing.

Forgot to say that I like SGs poem very much, because of the love it radiates.

UltraViolet said...

Hey felicia - sometimes it feels silly, but the Gyllenhaal men do have that power over us. The poem is very moving, as is the idea of Jake's possibly finding happiness with a new family.

Happy Jake's birthday, Sass! Happy times, indeed.

Great Dylan Thomas references, smile. Thanks for joining in the love. (Oh, that sounds different from the way I meant it!)

it all boils to that same feeling, it´s all about love in the end, isn´t it.

You said it all, smile!

UltraViolet said...

PS Added a couple of new pics to the post :)

get real said...

Such a lovely poem from father to son. Makes me tear up! And more amazing pics!! A great way to celebrate the Gyllenbirthday! :D

Barbara said...

Okay, I have to gush over the picture of Reese and Jake and the children. How sweet is it that Jake is carrying Ava's little white jacket? And even though you can't see her, he is looking down at her. Aww! Deacon seems to like to cling to mom, but I bet Ava thinks Jake is something special.:) I am happy for him for being with people he cares about on his birthday, and for the children that their mom's new man is so interested in them.

Thanks for posting the poem, UV. I have a son a few years younger than Jake, and the whole " boy to man" thing is poignant for me. B.

lawgoddess said...

That was me, my blogger account doesn't have the same name as my LJ account. Need to fix it. B.

UltraViolet said...

Another teary-eyed poster. We feel you, get real! I'm so glad we got new pics for the celebration. Makes it that much more festive.

And Hey LawGoddess - you have a blogger identity now - it's like it's your birthday, too.

The poem is very poignant. It's very cool that Papa G shared it, exposing his own foibles and feelings. I know his behavior towards the JW and IHJ peeps was less than exemplary. But it shows he's still negotiating that fine line of protecting and sheltering his child, and letting him go into the world.

get real said...

Thanks, UV! Hope Jake is enjoying his day. :D

Anonymous said...

Hey hon!

I have been bad about leaving comments, but I am loving you blog.

I am in love with daddy!Jake. Reese looks great and he is so attentive, something about him just holding that little coat!! LOVE IT!!!

Happy holidays dear!



ETA, can't remember my stupid password to login, so officially know me though. (:

suvee said...

UV, what an appropriate tribute Stephen's poem is on this special day. I have read it several times..... although I have pretty much no real ability to analyze poetry, I do know what I like. "At 25", for me, is fierce and poignant..... he beautifully captures his love, his fears and his hopes for his son.

"Taking you outside under the moon
and the giant pines—screaming, screaming.
Holding you. I didn’t know what else to do.
Kicking. Screaming with good rage
till you slowly trembled yourself into rest."

What a wonderful picture he has given us of Jake as an infant...... "good rage", I love that!

And I'm still loving that photo of Jake, Reese and the kids. Maybe it's just because we haven't seen a current pic of him in so long, or maybe it's because it's the first real "family" photo of them.... but there's something about this pic that I find very special.

Thanks for 2 perfect birthday posts!

UltraViolet said...

Holly! Such a festive, fun time of the year - Jake's birthday, Christmas - and all those jokes/puns I'm sure you have to endure with your name :)

I think someone else is in love with Daddy!Jake, too. Apart from all of us, I mean :)

And I declared it official that Jake holding Ava's coat is the cutest thing ever. Maybe tied with him holding Deacon's Transformers mask on Halloween.

"At 25", for me, is fierce and poignant

Suvee, I bet Stephen Gyllenhaal would love that description of his poem. And I agree. And I'm happy that we got the pics today - made the day more special.

bobbyanna said...

BTW: Thanks for the *thud* inducing outtakes from the Esquire shoot. I think I've totally exhausted my supply of exclamation points where Jake is concerned. No words either.

UltraViolet said...

Hi Bobbyanna - thanks for commenting on those pics. I was SO excited when I found them. Discovering these little treasures is so much fun. As is sharing them :)