Catching up on posts and news feeds after being away, I accidentally discovered that Dr Andrew Higgins had reviewed ‘Tolkien’s Poetry’ (Eilmann and Turner) in ‘The Journal of Tolkien Research.’

Naturally I sought out with special interest his comments on my own piece in that book, and was made very happy on reading it:

‘In her “‘What is it but a dream?’ Tolkien’s ‘The Sea Bell’ and Yeats’ ‘The Man who Dreamed of Faeryland’,” Sue Bridgwater compares the positive and negative aspects of dream and physical travel to and from the land of Faerie in Tolkien and Yeats. Bridgwater selects two poems by Yeats and Tolkien which reflect their changing thoughts on aspects of both the desire to journey to the “perilous realm” of faerie and the impact of what achieving or not achieving this journey has on the traveller or dreamer. Bridgwater’s comparative approach brings in many interesting sources and analyses of both Tolkien and Yeats’s use of fairy-tale, dream narrative and the topos of the fantastic voyage in developing their own unique positioning of the desire to travel to Faerie. Bridgwater’s argument convincingly shows several elements of the depiction of Faerie that Yeats and Tolkien share and some in which they diverge. Yeats’s poem describes the lack and loss of a man who never gets to Faery while Tolkien’s records the same effect of lack and loss in someone who does go to Faery. Although moving slightly away from the theme of Tolkien’s poetry, I found this paper to be one of the most interesting in this volume and Bridgwater’s conclusion (or non conclusion) that each poet had made use of his own vision of Faery to awaken our own visions, evoke our own responses, to the possibility or dream of there being “other worlds than these” and other modes of seeing most compelling for further investigation.’

Tolkien’s poetry

Tolkien's poetry cover image The_Adventures_of_Tom_Bombadil_cover


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