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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem for those who loved "The Hobbit", 15 Mar 2002
Luis Ferreira (Paço de Arcos, Portugal) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Poems from The Hobbit (Paperback)
This is a beautiful little book to own if you're a fan of "The Hobbit". I really like the songs, but I love the riddle part. It's so small that you could carry it always with you if not for the fear that it might get ruined. However, since it is a hardcover book, it's probably more resistant than what the size suggests.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Over the misty mountain cold, 13 Feb 2007
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Poems from The Hobbit (Paperback)
J.R.R. Tolkien's classic books are sprinkled with poems, ranging from enchanting to whimsical, from everybody from hobbits to elves. And "Poems From the Hobbit" compiles the twelve poems from the novel in a teeny-weeny little book illustrated by Tolkien himself.

The poems in here are, obviously, all from "The Hobbit," usually in the form of songs. Some of these are fun and cheerful, like the mocking song that the dwarves sing ("Chip the glasses and crack the plates!/Blunt the knives and bend the forks!/That's what Bilbo Baggins hates") or the nonsensical little ditty the Rivendell elves sing ("O! What are you doing,/And where are you going?/Your ponies need shoeing!/The river is flowing!/O! tra-la-la-lally/here down in the valley!").

Some of these poems are more fragmented and bizarre than real songs -- the goblins' triumphant song ("Clap! Snap! the black crack!/Grip, grab! Pinch, nab!") and Bilbo's spider-killing song are two examples, where it seems more like an opportunity for the characters to shout out taunts in rhyme.

But the best poetry here -- and the ones that show Tolkien at his best -- are the entrancing ones that sound like ancient, starlit epics: "The mountain smoked beneath the moon;/The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom/They fled their hall to dying fall/Beneath his feet, beneath the moon/Far over the misty mountains grim/To dungeons deep and caverns dim."

Academics like to sniff at Tolkien's poetry, though I doubt they could manage the range or vividity that his writing has. His poetry speaks for itself, as does his ability to do everything from storytelling epics to riddles to funny little songs about nothing in particular. THAT takes quite a lot of talent.

Tolkien's writing style is absolutely exquisite and memorable ("On silver necklaces they strung/The flowering stars, on crowns they hung/The dragon-fire, in twisted wire/They meshed the light of moon and sun"), full of shimmering imagery and ye-olde flavour... or funny stuff about smushing food into Bilbo's floor and breaking his dishes.

They even include the riddles from Gollum and Bilbo's little game, ranging from old ones that everyone knows to gruesome little ditties ("Voiceless it cries,/Wingless flutters,/Toothless bites,/Mouthless mutters."). And the illustrations are very pretty and appropriate -- delicate, colourful, and all around pleasant to look on.

"Poems From the Hobbit" has nothing new for people who already have "The Hobbit," but it's a charming little pocket collection of Tolkienian poetry.
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Poems from the Hobbit
Poems from the Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (Hardcover - 13 Dec 1999)
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