sturgeonslawyer (sturgeonslawyer) wrote,

The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun, by J.R.R.Tolkien (2019-32)

During the 1920s, Tolkien apparently went through a "Celtic" period in which, among other things, he read a number of Breton poems and adapted and evolved them. "The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun" (literally, The Lord and The Lady) is the final product of this process.

The poem is about 500 lines long, and concerns a lord whose lady is childless. He seeks out the Corrigan (a fairy of sorts), who gives him a potion and explains that she'll have her fee when  he is satisfied. Well, the lady gives birth to twins, and the Corrigan shows up and, wouldn't you know it, the schmuck refuses to pay her fee (which is to have sexual union with her), so she curses him, and he dies, and the lady dies, and that's a pretty standard story of the Fair Folk This is presented with introduction and notes...

But wait! There's more! There are two "Corrigan" poems Tolkien wrote before the "Lay", plus drafts of the "Lay", plus some other ancillary, nay, tertiary stuff.

I enjoyed the "Lay" and the "Corrigan" poems quite a lot. The introduction and notes to them were interesting, too. But the drafts and ancillae grew a bit tedious for me.
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