Originally published in the 1936 Annual of Our Lady’s School, Abingdon, Tolkien’s “Noel” was unknown and unrecorded until scholars Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull discovered it while searching for another poem in June 2013. In May 2015, Our Lady’s School, Abingdon discovered their copy of the Annual and in Feb 2016, news of the discovery was widely reported.
As the Tolkien Estate and Our Lady’s School has future plans to publish the poem, I include just the first section of the poem here.
NOEL by J. R. R. Tolkien
Grim was the world and grey last night:
The moon and stars were fled,
The hall was dark without song or light,
The fires were fallen dead.
For more information on the discovery and future plans, see:
“Undiscovered J R R Tolkien poems found in 1936 school magazine,” Oxford Mail, February 15, 2016.
“Two Poems by J.R.R. Tolkien Found in School Publication in England,” New York Times, February 16, 2016.
“There and Back Again, Again: New Tolkien Poems Found in Old Annual,” Tor.com, February 17, 2016
If interested in reading other posts I’ve written on Tolkien, please click here.
Jason G. Duesing is provost and associate professor of historical theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and author and contributor to several books including Seven Summits in Church History (Rainer Publishing, 2016). You can follow him on Twitter @JGDuesing.