Poem Commissions

Poem in the style of Tolkien


  • A “parody” (not comic but serious) of “Where Now Are the Horse and the Rider” by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • A lament for something I miss in modern literature, or the modern world in general.
  • Use the “where are?” or “where is?” question repeatedly, and follow the rhyming and metrical scheme Tolkien used, or very near to it.
  • As much as possible, also employ the stricter rules of Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse.

Title: Where Are the Makers of Heroes?

Where are the makers of heroes? Where are the minstrels singing?
Where are the dells and the highlands with daring stories ringing?
Where are the keen-faced poets, who peer in the fire’s gleaming
To bake their heroes like bread, their faces bright with dreaming?
They have gone, along with their griefs, where no one now remembers;
We were clever and foolish alike and left their fire in embers.
Who shall be those faithful servants who take up the ancient lyre,
Stirring the strings anew, feeding again that fire?

Original poem by J.R.R. Tolkien

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

Translation/Versification of Chinese Song


  • A fairly literal translation that captures the feel of the original text.
  • Rhyme and meter
  • Written for all ages but centered on accessibility for grades 5 and 6.

Title: Since I Follow the Lord

Since I follow the Lord,
I will not turn back;
since I’ve trusted the Lord,
I will have no lack.

Though the road is rocky,
I will not complain;
my heart is full of sweetness
in spite of tears and pain.

Serving the Lord is never
just a path in shady green;
serving the Lord is never
just a peaceful garden scene.

Prison may await us,
and sorrow’s bitter stream;
we must pass through Marah
to rest at Elim.