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12 March
2024-3-12 6:24:46 PM UTC
New blog post out by Christina and Wayne about the book: https://wayneandchristina.wordpress.co ... tolkiens-collected-poems/
12 March
2024-3-12 6:28:47 PM UTC
From their blog post, we are told the following additional details:
  • "The Amazon UK description gives its extent as 1,368 pages, which is close to the number in our typescript; in fact, the printed text will run to more than 1,600 pages."
  • "There are at least 240 discrete poems, depending on how one distinguishes titles and versions, presented in 195 entries and five appendices. "
12 March
2024-3-12 6:34:58 PM UTC
This too from the blog post:

"A number of factors, namely economies of production, ruled out a Complete Poems by Tolkien. Nevertheless, the Collected Poems will include most of the verses Tolkien is known to have written, and for most of these, multiple versions which show their evolution."

It sounds like almost everything unpublished that is known will be included here, which is really fantastic.
12 March
2024-3-12 6:50:46 PM UTC
WoW !!! What a news !!! I was hopping for something like that for a while. That's astonishing !!

I hope for a beautiful boxset !
12 March (edited)
2024-3-12 7:36:31 PM UTC
This has been in the pipeline for some time. I'm very glad to see the project came to fruition and now I can't wait
12 March (edited)
2024-3-12 8:32:09 PM UTC


  • Press Release

    COLLECTED POEMS OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN TO BE PUBLISHED FOR FIRST TIME

    London, Tuesday 12 March

    HarperCollins has announced it is to publish The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond, in September 2024.

    Poetry was the first way in which Tolkien expressed himself creatively and through it the seeds of his literary ambition would be sown. Out of one of his earliest poems, The Voyage of Éarendel the Evening Star, begun in 1914, would appear the character, Eärendil, and from him would spring the world of ‘the Silmarillion’, and then The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, each of whose stories are enriched with poems both humorous and haunting, magical and moving.

    The world-renowned Tolkien scholars, Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond, provide the stories behind, and analysis of, each poem, as well as revealing the extraordinary amount of work that Tolkien devoted to every one, creating a landmark new publication which confirms that J.R.R. Tolkien was as fine a poet as he was a writer.

    Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond say: ‘It has been an honour to prepare, at Christopher Tolkien’s invitation, these volumes of his father’s poems, putting into print many previously unpublished works and ensuring that Tolkien’s talent for poetry becomes more widely known. Charged at first to review only his early poems, we soon saw the benefits of examining his entire poetic opus across six decades, vast though it is with hundreds of printed and manuscript sources, and of showing its evolution with comments in the manner of Christopher’s magisterial History of Middle-earth series. Not long before his death, we were able to send Christopher a trial portion of the book, which he praised as “remarkable and immensely desirable”.’

    Chris Smith, Publishing Director, says: ‘Poetry runs like a vein of mithril through all the books that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote. He delighted in language and storytelling, and the almost 200 poems contained in this collection reveal him at his creative best in verse. Within this new three-volume set, there are worlds in miniature to be discovered and revelled in, populated with unforgettable characters and settings both familiar and full of wonder.’

    The Hobbit was first published in 1937 and The Lord of the Rings in 1954–5. Each has since gone on to become a beloved classic of literature, and an international bestseller in more than 70 languages, collectively selling more than 150,000,000 copies worldwide. Published in 1977, 40 years after The Hobbit first introduced the world to Tolkien’s Middle-earth, The Silmarillion sold more than one million copies in its first year of publication and has gone on to be translated into almost 40 languages. It was the first of seventeen Middle-earth books produced by J.R.R. Tolkien’s son, Christopher, who was his father’s literary executor and who died in 2020, aged 95, after a lifetime dedicated to curating his father’s work for publication.

    Issued by: Philippa Cotton, Publicity Director

    Notes to Editors:

    J.R.R. TOLKIEN was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he embarked upon a distinguished academic career and was recognized as one of the finest philologists in the world. He is best known as the creator of Middle-earth and author of the classic and extraordinary works of fiction, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. His books have been translated into more than 70 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide. He died on 2nd September 1973 at the age of 81.

    ABOUT HARPERCOLLINS

    HarperCollins Publishers is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 17 countries. With 200 years of history and more than 120 branded imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year in 16 languages, and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins, headquartered in New York, is a subsidiary of News Corp (Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) and can be visited online at corporate.HC.com.
12 March (edited)
2024-3-12 9:25:28 PM UTC
The Amazon description, which we didn't see before it was posted, seems to be based on our initial report to Christopher in December 2016, or on the one we wrote for Estate and publisher in May 2020, in particular its statement about "almost 200 works" and "more than 60 that have never before been seen". We had guessed, way back when, that Tolkien wrote between 250 and 300 poems altogether, without knowing how many one would, or could, include in a collection, and that "some 60" poems among the scans we received were unpublished. We knew, however, of other unpublished poems not in that group of scans, which we had seen at the Bodleian, and later we learned of still more.

We say in our blog post that the Collected Poems will include "at least 240 discrete poems". This does, as we also say, depend on one's definition. Some of the poems morph in their evolution so much that one could either count a work as a single entity in a variety of forms, or as a variety of separate poems that are closely related. Hence our vagueness about the number: we didn't want to overhype it.

There's a similar issue with counting which poems have been published and which haven't. The best we can say is that among the poems we include, 77 have not been published before in any form, or only a few lines from them have appeared, e.g. in Carpenter's biography. But that is to leave out alternate, unpublished forms of some poems included in The History of Middle-earth, an extreme example of which is the sequence The Grimness of the Sea > The Tides > Sea Chant of an Elder Day > Sea-Song of an Elder Day > The Horns of Ulmo > The Horns of Ylmir. Christopher Tolkien included only the latter of these in full in The Shaping of Middle-earth, with notes on and snippets from some earlier versions, and by the time one reaches the text at the end of the evolution, only about one-half of one line of The Grimness of the Sea has survived! At any rate, there will be a lot that's new.

Wayne & Christina
12 March
2024-3-12 9:29:48 PM UTC

Findegil wrote:

There's a similar issue with counting which poems have been published and which haven't. The best we can say is that among the poems we include, 77 have not been published before in any form, or only a few lines from them have appeared, e.g. in Carpenter's biography. But that is to leave out alternate, unpublished forms of some poems included in The History of Middle-earth, an extreme example of which is the sequence The Grimness of the Sea[/] > [i]The Tides > Sea Chant of an Elder Day > Sea-Song of an Elder Day > The Horns of Ulmo > The Horns of Ylmir. Christopher Tolkien included only the latter of these in full in The Shaping of Middle-earth, with notes on and snippets from some earlier versions, and by the time one reaches the text at the end of the evolution, only about one-half of one line of The Grimness of the Sea has survived! At any rate, there will be a lot that's new.

Wayne & Christina

Which is to say this is even more wonderful than we initially thought. Thank you both so much for your hard work and dedication to this project!!!
12 March
2024-3-12 10:06:05 PM UTC
Wow! I've been waiting for this for so long. And I’ve always thought that no one would be better suited for a project like this than Wayne & Christina. Incredible! Thanks a lot. 😃
12 March
2024-3-12 11:43:37 PM UTC
Findegil Congratulations both of you on this new project!

Perhaps you cannot say, or wish to preserve some level of mystery and surprise until release, but does this now put us all in a position to own (approximately?) all of Tolkien's poetry, between your book and the rest of Tolkien's published work?

The list of about 55 poems here https://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Index:Unpublished_material#Poetry is clearly shorter than your 75 new unpublished ones, but of course that larger number might include hitherto unknown earlier versions of published poems—or the list on Tolkien Gateway might be woefully incomplete and also obviously miss items so far unreported.

(I for one am hoping to read all of The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin as it stands, but everyone has their own particular gem they'd like to finally see.)
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