Tolkien Gateway

The Dragon's Visit

The Dragon's Visit is a humorous poem about a dragon, written by J.R.R. Tolkien (probably in 1928) in his series Tales and Songs of Bimble Bay. When submitting a number of poems for The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book in 1962, "The Dragon's Visit" was included but was eventually omitted from the collection.[1] Douglas A. Anderson has suggested that Tolkien perhaps thought the poem unsuitable within the legendarium:[2] It mentions a fire brigade set against a dragon.[3]

[edit] Publication history

The poem was first published on February 4th, 1937 within The Oxford Magazine (Volume 55, Number 11). A revised version of the poem, with a different ending, was printed in Winter's Tales for Children 1 (October 1965) and in The Young Magicians (1969). The original poem (together with the revised ending) was included in Douglas A. Anderson's The Annotated Hobbit in 1988 and in Tales Before Narnia in 2008.[4]

[edit] Critical reception

John D. Rateliff has noted that he considers the "The Dragon's Visit" to be "one of Tolkien's best poems".[5]


  1. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: II. Reader's Guide, p. 214
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien; Douglas A. Anderson, (ed.), (2002) The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition, p. 309-11
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond (eds), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Introduction"
  4. John D. Rateliff, "The New Arrival: WINTER'S TALES FOR CHILDREN" dated 13 July 2009, Sacnoth's Scriptorium blog (accessed 27 February 2012)
  5. John D. Rateliff, Review of Tales Before Narnia, Mythlore 107/108