Why I want to translate Tolkien’s poems? הדפסה

 “The old hoard the Night shall keep,

while earth waits and the Elves sleep.”

(The Hoard, “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil”, J R R Tolkien)

Why I want to translate Tolkien’s poems?


Tolkien’s work is not something you like; it’s something you believe in. Once you dive into this mysterious sea, you will sink into the amazing world that Tolkien created in his stories, “The Hobbit”, “Lord of the Rings”, “The Silmarilion” and many more. You will be amazed by the flood of information and tiny details, inlaid in this one huge and beautiful mosaic.

Tolkien was more than a fantastic author; he was also a great poet. In his books, the poems have a place of their own.


I do not come from a bilingual home, but I have learned English by myself and have grown to love this language. I enjoy reading English poetry and literature so much that I have started to translate from English to Hebrew and inversely. First I did this in my mind and now I have began to translate in writing.


Now that I have the choice to do a final project in translation, my favorite author, Tolkien, automatically sprang to mind, and I decided that his writings would be my subject.


In my project I will translate about six of Tolkien’s poems from his poetry anthology, “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil”. These poems have already been translated by Uriel Ofek. I find his translation good, yet it has some problems. My translation will have no connection to Ofek’s work but, once finished, I will compare to the differences and similarities between his work and my own.


In addition to the translation and analysis of the problems incurred during translating. I will also analyze Tolkien’s own introduction to his poems in which he explains their ethnic sources. In this part I will try to define the differences between the poetry of the different peoples of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, both in style and subject.


Tolkien’s work is a wonderful and rich world. In this project I hope to have the chance to deepen my own and other people’s knowledge and enjoyment of Tolkien’s wisdom and imagination.