The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien

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Voronwë the Faithful
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The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

A massive collection of Tolkien's poems, some of which have never been published before, is being edited by Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond and published in September.

The Collected Poems of J. R. R. Tolkien Hardcover – 12 Sept. 2024
"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
N.E. Brigand
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Re: The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Scull and Hammond included what seemed to be a complete list of just the titles of Tolkien's poems in their 2007 Companion & Guide, but a few years later it became clear that was not so when Sigurd & Gudrun included at least one poem that wasn't in that list.

I believe another well-known Tolkien scholar had long wanted to do this but could never get any serious interest from the Estate or publisher. I've certainly been wishing for this for a long time. Not just for the unpublished items but for the hard-to-find ones too. Over on TORN, before I started posting there in late 2003, NZ Strider ran an occasional series, working from various university libraries, on Tolkien's more obscure poems, giving text and commentary. As forum posts go, these were absolute gems.

Will this be a complete collection? Will we finally see all the Bimble Bay and Fisiologus poems? Will it include the unfinished verse translation of Beowulf?

What about the full version of Doworst? Or is that still lost? I first heard of that when Doug Anderson read a portion at Kalamazoo in 2005.

(I'm not saying you have the answers to any of the questions, V!)
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Re: The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien

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OK, I see that Hammond and Scull have a lot to say about the collection at their blog.
A number of factors, namely economies of production, ruled out a Complete Poems by Tolkien. Nevertheless, the Collected Poems will include most of the verses Tolkien is known to have written, and for most of these, multiple versions which show their evolution. There are at least 240 discrete poems, depending on how one distinguishes titles and versions, presented in 195 entries and five appendices. When possible, we have used manuscripts and typescripts in the Bodleian Library, at Marquette University, and at the University of Leeds. We have chosen not to include all of the one hundred or so poems contained in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but have made a representative selection – surely, no one who reads the Collected Poems will not already have at least one copy of Tolkien’s two most popular works. His longer poems, as we have said, will be presented as excerpts. The book will also include a long introduction to Tolkien as a poet, a brief chronology of his poetry, and a glossary of archaic, unusual, or unfamiliar words he used in his verse.
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Re: The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien

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"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
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Re: The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

An update from Christina and Wayne, though they don't really provide much new information.

Tolkien’s Collected Poems Update
"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
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Re: The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien

Post by N.E. Brigand »

One of next year's Tolkien at Kalamazoo sessions here at the International Congress on Medieval Studies is likely to be devoted to Tolkien's poetry.
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