Fantasist & Futurist
- Nov 23, 2002
Something I'd be interested in discussing is JRR Tolkien's contribution to poetry. Clearly he is a giant of English literature for his work Lord of the Rings. However, LOTR itself contains a lot of poetry - yet I can't recall coming across any discussion of Tolkien's contribution to the field of poetry within English Literature.
Is this because LOTR is seen as a niche work, or not mainstream literature? Or is it the case that Tolkien's poetry is too focused on imitating sagas and thus falls foul of general classifications of poetry in English?
Or does English literature simply turn its nose up at Tolkien's poetry for being tied directly and only to his fictional works? As opposed to a recognized poet such as DH Lawrence who wrote both novels and poetry intended for a general readership? Or is it because they are less poems and more like songs?
I know we have a few English teachers and lecturers here, so hopefully we can see a few interesting approaches to this topic.
In the meantime, the while a couple of Tolkien's poems stand out - The Road Goes Ever On, and the Merry Inn sung in Bree in particular - but probably the most memorable poem for me is Gilgalad Was an Elven King, particularly Stephen Oliver's rendition of it to music for the BBC Radio adaptation of Lord of the Rings: