A rare, dark poem written by The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien will be republished for the first time in 70 years in a collection of poetry to be released this fall. The poem, titled "The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun," was originally published in 1945 by literary journal The Welsh Review, and it has been out of print ever since.
HarperCollins announced this week that the poem will be released on Nov. 3 in the UK. The poem will likely drop around the same time in the United States, though it will be published by Houghton Mifflin.
The work, which is not set in Middle Earth, reflects the "darker side of J.R.R. Tolkien's imagination," the publisher says, and it hints at an early version of Galadriel, the elf queen from The Lord of the Rings.
Inspired by Celtic legends, the poem dwells on the corrigan, a term for someone belonging to the fairy race in Breton mythology. It will be published alongside some of Tolkien's other poems, including "The Story of Kullervo", "The Fall of Arthur," and "Sigurd and Gudrún."
According to HarperCollins, the sequence of the collection will show the evolution of the corrigan into Galadriel. They write:
"The sequence shows the corrigan's increasingly powerful presence, as she takes an ever more active role in the lives of Aotrou and Itroun, Lord and Lady. She would finally emerge, changed in motive and character, but still recognizable, in The Lord of the Rings as the beautiful and terrible Lady of the Golden Wood, the Elven queen Galadriel."
The book — out just in time for Christmas shopping — should make for the perfect present for the Tolkien fan in your life. You can pre-order the poetry collection at HarperCollins.
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