The Owl and the Nightingale

From Tolkien Gateway

The Owl and the Nightingale is a Middle English poem. J.R.R. Tolkien began a translation of the poem, which has never reached publication.[1] In a letter from 1967, Tolkien wrote:

I have at present given up the task [of translating The Owl and the Nightingale]. It comes off well enough in certain passages, but in general octo-syllabic couplets are defeating for a translator; there is no room to move.

In a letter written on 8 April 1932, C.S. Lewis suggests his brother Warren to read Tolkien's translation of The Owl and the Nightingale.[2] It seems therefore likely that Tolkien had completed a translation of the poem by this date, but was unsatisfied with the results as evident in the 1967 Letter.[3]

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