“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.” How refreshing it is to quote freely from another iconic Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken,” published in his poetry collection Mountain Interval in 1916. Its copyright expired in 1992 and that has made all the difference. The poem has inspired lyrics from Bruce Hornsby, Melissa Etheridge and George Strait, and its phrases have been used to sell cars, careers, computers and countless dorm room posters that feature the final lines as an exhortation to individualism that the poet likely never intended.
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Originally published in the 1936 Annual of Our Lady’s School, Abingdon, Tolkien’s “Noel” was unknown and unrecorded until scholars Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull discovered it while searching for another poem in June 2013. In May 2015, Our Lady’s School, Abingdon discovered their copy of the Annual and in Feb 2016, news of the discovery was widely reported.
As the Tolkien Estate and Our Lady’s School has future plans to publish the poem, I include just the first section of the poem here.
NOEL by J. R. R. Tolkien
Grim was the world and grey last night:
The moon and stars were fled,
The hall was dark without song or light,
The fires were fallen dead.
The Anycall the name which is the poem which it will dance from the Samsung Electronics undergarment radio enterprise headquarters at model life of the product which it comes to attach in the hand phone product which it does, the report which is a composition which already from domestic the Anycall hand phone prefers considerably in 011 transformation numbers as will come out, the product and pu probably is the land, power belongs in the considerably high side. Go figure! =)
The growing use of text messaging on mobile phones could result in an epidemic of repetitive strain injuries dubbed TMI — or Text Message Injury. More from Wired.com’s “Sore Thumb? Talk More, Type Less.”
The winning poem on the UK’s The Guardian reads: “txtin iz messin, mi headn’me englis, try2rite essays, they all come out txtis. gran not plsed w/letters shes getn, swears i wrote better b4 comin2uni. &she’s african” Hetty Hughes won the first prize (£1,000) for this poem from Guardian’s text message poetry competition from almost 7,500 entries. Read the rest at The Guardian’s “The text-message poetry winners.”