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Poems and Stories Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, May 29, 1980


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Hardcover, Deluxe Edition, May 29, 1980
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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A collection of pieces, 1949-75, that barely touches upon the Middle-Earth scenario for which Tolkien (1829-1973) is justly famous; overall, however, it renders a much more complete account of this scholar, poet, critic, and storyteller's talents. The charming, deceptively light poems of ``The Adventures of Tom Bambadil'' contain intriguing sidelights on Middle-Earth lore, while the dramatic poem ``The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth'' (``unavailable in any other edition,'' according to the publisher), complete with scholarly introduction, describes the aftermath of the Battle of Maldon, which occurred in the year 991. The essay ``On Fairy-Stories'' has won critical acclaim, as have the tales ``Farmer Giles of Ham'' and ``Smith of Wootton Major,'' as well as the story that most closely reflects Tolkien's personal philosophy (``Leaf by Niggle''). Some of these may be familiar, or available individually; still, this collection is a splendid accompaniment for existing fans, or an excellent introduction for newcomers. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A collection of pieces, 1949-75, that barely touches upon the Middle-Earth scenario for which Tolkien (1892-1973) is justly famous; overall, however, it renders a much more complete account of this scholar, poet, critic, and storyteller's talents. The charming, deceptively light poems of ``The Adventures of Tom Bambadil'' contain intriguing sidelights on Middle-Earth lore, while the dramatic poem ``The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth'' (``unavailable in any other edition,'' according to the publisher), complete with scholarly introduction, describes the aftermath of the Battle of Maldon, which occurred in the year 991. The essay ``On Fairy-Stories'' has won critical acclaim, as have the tales ``Farmer Giles of Ham'' and ``Smith of Wootton Major,'' as well as the story that most closely reflects Tolkien's personal philosophy (``Leaf by Niggle''). Some of these may be familiar, or available individually; still, this collection is a splendid accompaniment for existing fans, or an excellent introduction for newcomers." (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892.1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own.

Customer Reviews

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1998
Format: Hardcover
While this is apparently out of print, the same material is also collected in _A Tolkien Reader_, which is currently available. The short story "Leaf by Niggle" alone makes either of these collections worth buying. Tolkien referred to this story as his only real allegory. It looks at his fear that his _Lord of the Rings_ would never be completed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien is known best for the thrilling epic "The Lord of the Rings" and the works that accompany it. But "Poems and Stories" encompasses several shorter, less-well-known works, while giving a more rounded view of Tolkien's unique brand of genius.
"The Adventures of Tom Bombadil" is a charming collection of poems, mostly linked to Middle-Earth. They range from dark to whimsical, with trolls, dragons, elves, and "shadow-brides." The poem "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth" dips into medieval dramas, followed by Tolkien's thoughtful, fantasy-based ponderings "On Fairy-Tales," a long essay on the nature of good fantasy.
Then Tolkien's short novels come into play. "Leaf By Niggle" is an odd, pleasant little story about an artist named Niggle, who has to make a journey; "Smith of Wootten Major" is a beautiful little tale about a lost fairy king and a young smith who ate a fay star. Finally there's "Farmer Giles of Ham," a tongue-in-cheek comic tale about a bumbling farmer who, because of a deaf, nearsighted giant, inadvertantly becomes a hero.
There's no flagging of quality in "Poems and Stories" -- all of the material Tolkien wrote that is included here is top-notch, whether comic, dramatic or poetic. Some readers may be put off by the classically-written "Homecoming of Beorhtnoth," but it is still an excellent piece of work. He can argue forcefully, charm with sweet poetry, or tell an amusing story about bumbling heroes and not-so-fierce dragons.
Tolkien's exceptional writing is put on display in "Poems and Stories," a beautiful collection full of the Master of Middle-Earth's art. Highly Recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "thegraypilgrim" on February 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a previous reviewer wrote, this hard-to-find book is much like _The_Tolkien_Reader_. The difference is that where that book contains Peter Beagle's introductory essay, "Tolkien's Magic Ring," this one contains the popular Tolkien short story, "Smith of Wootton Major."
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