First, I'll say that this is a wonderful idea. I know some people who read the Lord of the Rings (and/or The Hobbit and The Silmarillion) who skip over the songs and poems and chants, in order to "get on" with the story. Personally, I relish these sometimes beautiful, sometimes funny or folksy, sometimes heartbreaking works. I sincerely love Tolkien's poetry, though I know it is not at all in the styles that are popular today. What I would really like is to find a book that brings together all of Tolkien's Middle Earth poetry and songs (if you know of such a work, please leave me a comment. You will be my hero.) As it is, I was so excited to find a book that promised it was (and I am quoting from the inside flap of the dust-jacket) "Bringing together *all* the poems from the work [The Lord of the Rings]..." Of course, I realized that I would get no Hobbit poetry or any of the lays in The Silmarillion, but I was delighted none the less.
The illustrations, done by Alan Lee, are gorgeous. The book is small, but really a nice size for carrying around with you. The poems and songs that are included are, to the best of my knowledge, free of typos and omissions...unless you call the absence of ten separate songs or poems from the work an omission. Yes, it's not a complete work. I knew after going through it that something was wrong. I have read The Lord of the Rings too many times, no doubt, but I realized very soon after receiving it that several poems were missing; including one or two personal favorites. Perhaps I am taking this too seriously, but what I can't understand is WHY they are missing. They aren't exceptionally short (some of the included works are shorter or of the same length), they aren't (to my mind) unimportant, or uninteresting or inferior. They just aren't there.
Now, if the book had not made the claim that they were all present, I would have continued my search, I admit. And this is a lovely little volume, even with the absent work, so maybe that would have been a shame. I will read this, I've been unable to find a complete one, after all...but every time I pick it up I'll know that some are missing. It's just disappointing (and false advertisement). In case you are interested, here is a list of the missing works:
1. O! Wanderer's in the shadowed land (The Old Forest chapter, sung by Frodo)
2. O slender as a willow-wand! O clearer than clear water! (In the House of of Tom Bombadil chapter, sung by Frodo)
3. Cold be hand and heart and bone (Fog on the Burrow-Downs chapter, chanted by Barrow-wight) *I know this isn't a happy, pretty piece, but I really think it's well written...so frustrating that it's not included
4. Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind (Farewell to Lorien chapter, sung by Galadriel) *This is given both in Elvish and English, and it's absolutely enchanting
5. Gondor! Gondor, between the Mountains and the Sea! (The Riders of Rohan chapter, spoken by Aragorn)
6. Learn now the lore of Living Creatures! (Treebeard chapter, chanted by Treebeard) *This is the first poem I missed after I had read through and found I had not seen it.
7. Where now are the Dunedain, Elessar, Elessar? (The White Rider chapter, spoken by Gandalf)
8. Ere iron was found or tree was hewn, (The Road to Isengard, spoken by Gandalf) *This one is only four sentences; I suppose that might be why it was discounted.
9. Tall ships and tall kings (The Palantir, sung by Gandalf) *Again, short, but I think it's important.
10. Arise, arise, Riders of Theoden! (The Ride of the Rohirrim, chanted by Theoden King) *I can't believe they left this out. It's short, but full of passion and strength and heartbreak.
*There are also stanzas of Tom Bombadil's songs missing, though they were mostly complete
I hope this helps!