Tolkien’s Poetry | Octosyllabic Couplets + New Project Announcement

 

Tapisserie de Bayeux - Scène 32 : des hommes observent la comète de Halley

The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun and The Lay of Leithian are, in my opinion, two masterly-crafted long, epic poems (even though the latter, alas, remains unfinished).

I am no poetry expert, having never managed to successfully appreciate many poems (especially those of the modern sort, with free verse and all that), but there was something in Tolkien’s own poetic writings which I found accessible, instant and attractive. And while Tolkien might not be considered one of the great poetry writers, his verses seem to embody a character of their own — steeped in history and language, harking back to the style and tone of the great classical works, The Odyssey, The Divine Comedy and, naturally, Beowulf. Continue reading

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Books I’ve Read in 2018 [Christmas wrap-up]

Stacks of books

It has become an annual tradition of sorts on this blog to post a list of books I have read in the last twelve months. This might perhaps provide some inspirational reading ideas for you, dear readers.

Besides, I think it’s the perfect opportunity for me to take a moment, stand back, and admire the books I have consumed (not literally). Continue reading

Tolkien Books I HAVE NOT read (yet)

booksTolkien

Though this might not trouble some of you, I believe I’m letting down my own Tolkien self and feel the need to share.

Whilst the author’s works are too extensive to be read within the relatively brief amount of time I’ve been an ardent reader of Tolkien (15 years give or take), there are some books — written by or about him — that I feel disappointed at not having yet tackled them. Continue reading

Books I’ve Read in 2016

Other books

It being New Year’s Eve, this post feels appropriate for this time of year.

Indeed, another 12 months have passed since I last compiled a list of books read, and I’m very proud to say that I have increased the number of works from last year. Continue reading

Northern Courage, Ofermōde and Thorin Oakenshield’s last stand

Thorin 1

Northern Courage

Tolkien was fascinated by the concept he called “the theory of courage”, which exemplified one of the highest qualities in the literary Northern hero: that of unflinching courage, steadfast resolve and sheer determination of will in the face of impossible odds. Continue reading

Beowulf: The Lost King of Rohan

Beowulf A Translation and Commentary (header)

An Anglo-Saxon Connection

The Anglo-Saxon epic has been acknowledged many times as one of the major sources of inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The world in the poem is easily comparable to Rohan and beyond. The character of Beowulf himself has been placed under scrutiny and analysed alongside other characters from Middle-earth, including Aragorn and Bard the Bowman.

The Geat hero, however, shares a close affinity with the majority of the kings of Rohan. Indeed, one could argue that many of the qualities and characteristics found in the House of Eorl can be attributed to Beowulf as an individual. The events that shape his life can be gleamed from the lives of Théoden’s ancestors.

For the purpose of this article, I will be using Tolkien’s recently published: Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, in order to reference specific passages in relation to the character. I have also compared them with the text in The Lord of the Rings, with strong emphasis on ‘The House of Eorl’ in Appendix A. Continue reading

Approaching Tolkien – Beowulf: A Translation & Commentary

The Anglo-Saxon Epic Receives Treatment from the Anglo-Saxon Professor

If you’ve read your fair share of Tolkien, at some point in your reading you would certainly have comes across numerous references highlighting the author’s fascination towards Anglo-Beowulf cover by JRR TolkienSaxon culture and literature.

Beowulf, made up of three thousand lines written in the Old English metre, remains the single most important work of the period.

But as expressive and fluent as the language is in the original language, many scholars have attempted to translate it into Modern English in the hope of capturing the same spirit and style of the poem: as it was intended to be read. Continue reading