J.R.R. Tolkien, the Anglo-Saxon professor at Oxford who attained world fame with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings had penned two poems that lay forgotten in a school’s 1936 annual. A man mostly known for his prose in archaic words that come from the night of times and the creation of a universe caught in twilight as good and evil are locked in a long, exhausting fight, has recreated these worlds in poetic meter, too, albeit in shorter form. The poems, The Shadow Man and Noel, have been discovered in the publication of Our Lady’s School a year before the release of The Hobbit. Stuart Lee, a Tolkien expert at the English Faculty of Oxford, said, “these two poems are additions to a growing area of scholarship around his verse.” According to Lee, The Shadow Man was the more interesting of the two, as it “suggests a folk-tale origin, but is elusive in its exact provenance, and also quite dark and sinister.” In later years, Tolkien has sought to limit the interpretations of his mythical creations, for it did not escape attention that his writings coincided with a time when Europe, and the world along with it, was about to descend in the biggest spiral of death and destruction recorded in History. It was the inescapable fate of man to be influenced by the world around him, but he was not able to say in what measure it had shaped the parallel dimension he created.
An old school annual yields two forgotten poems by Tolkien
- by Verb Company