Creator of The Lord of the Rings, and one of the founders of the lore that has led to many-a-great game J.R.R. Tolkien was denied the Nobel Prize for literature due to his poetry not making the grade. The information was just released from the Swedish Academy, detailing Tolkien’s 1961 nomination.

Sydsvenskan says it was there when the details were announced. They state the reson for Tolkien’s rejection was his poetry, and states “the result has not in any sense become poetry of the highest caliber.”

It also states the person who nominated Tolkien for the prize was his close friend, CS Lewis, creator of the “Narnia” series.

Personally, I think he still deserved the prize—honestly, who else writes an epic book series AND fills it with poetry. Not to mention the fact that some of the poems are written in the Elvish language he invented.

But you can be the judge. Here are a few lines from the song sung for Gandalf after he fell in Moria:



When evening in the Shire was grey
his footsteps on the Hill were heard;
before the dawn he went away
on journey long without a word.

From Wilderland to Western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door
and darling woods he walked at will.

With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men,
with mortal and immortal folk,
with bird on bough and beast in den,
in their own secret tongues he spoke.


[box_light]Image by Matěj Čadil (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons[/box_light]

About The Author

Joshua Philipp is the founder and editor of He's also an award-winning journalist at Epoch Times.

2 Responses

  1. Altheodi

    I am very disappointed to hear that Tolkien was denied the Nobel Prize for such a reason, but I would like to point out that the definition of the word prose is: “language in the form in which it is typically written (or spoken), usually characterized as having no deliberate metrical structure, in contrast with verse or poetry” (OED). So perhaps you should change the title of this post?


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