Concluding ‘The Fall of Arthur’ ~ Update 2

Fall of Arthur

The Writing Continues Fervently

You may or may not remember (for which I wouldn’t blame you), that I had in mind a little project that would attempt to conclude Tolkien’s unfinished poem The Fall of Arthur.

You may also recall how much I love this poem and that I had posted an extract way back at the end of August last year (The Writing Begins), hoping to complete the poem in a further 4 cantos (approximately 200 lines each).FallOfArthur book cover

Tolkien’s poem ends at Canto V (‘Of the setting of the sun at Romeril’); this project thereby attempts to reconstruct Cantos VI to IX. Weirdly enough, my first update picked up from Canto VII, titled: ‘Arthur lands in Romeril’.

This time, I’m posting an extract from the beginning of Canto VI: ‘The Departure of Gawain’.

As I’ve said before, the verses are more in freestyle form rather than the Old English metre I had originally attempted. I’ve decided to focus more on the rhythm and the sense of every line.

Furthermore, I am in no way attempting to write on the same level as Professor Tolkien – that is rather impossible to do.

Once I (hopefully) manage to sketch out and structure the verses for all 4 cantos I might be able to revise each line and attempt to rework the rest of the poem using the Old English metre.

But so far, I’m really enjoy this stage of writing, and I really hope updates for this will come more regularly. It’s surprising how long its taking me to write a few lines of words. It amazes me how Tolkien wrote his with such elegant and flowing style; not to mention the complexities of the alliterative metre.

Anyways, I leave you with this extract which picks up where Tolkien left off: Arthur and his army sailing back to Britain to reclaim the kingship from Mordred (his nephew) who usurped the throne in his absence.

***Click excerpt to enlarge***

Concluding the Fall of Arthur (Excerpt 2a)



3 thoughts on “Concluding ‘The Fall of Arthur’ ~ Update 2


    Seriously though, if Tolkien had finished the Fall of Arthur, it would be right up there with the Silmarillion as his best work.

    1. Thanks Eomer! I fully agree, it’s so frustrating he never got to complete the poem. His construction of words, rhythm and style is sublime.

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