May we never face a day when hidden gems from Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien are no more. From unpublished works to sketches, Tolkien followers across the world wait for these special moments. The most recent find includes two completed poems by the English master of fantasy, tracked down by American Tolkien scholar and fan-boy, Wayne Hammond. It was a note from Tolkien himself about two unknown poems in the Abingdon Chronicle which sparked Hammond’s quest.
The first poem is called “The Shadow Man” and tells of “a man who dwelt alone/beneath the moon in shadow.” Tolkien goes on to introduce “a lady clad in grey” who also becomes “clad in shadow” with this man in a somber marriage of sorts. This mysterious little poem is actually an earlier version of another poem later published in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil in 1962. The second poem is a Christmas themed work titled “Noel” which focuses on the Christian figure of Mary. But don’t expect any Hobbits drinking eggnog or choiring Dwarfs. (Actually, that sounds kind of awesome.) In “Noel” we are told of “the lord of snows” (Jon Snow, is that you?!) residing in a similar Middle-earth kind of winter realm.
The two poems were included in the Our Lady’s 1937 annual, which is how Hammond tracked it down with the help of head teacher Stephen Oliver. And after this incredible find, the school is planning to exhibit these two poems along with some historical context about Tolkien and Our Lady soon. And possibly one day these two complete poems will be published in some form for the public across the pond.
How excited are you about this 79-year-old Tolkien find? Let us know below!
HT: The Guardian
Image Credit: New Line Cinema