‘This presentation of the work is taken,
with some omissions, from the Foreword to The Fall of Arthur published
on the 23rd of May by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd and Houghton Mifflin
It is well known that a prominent strain in my
father's poetry was his abiding love for the old 'Northern' alliterative verse,
which extended from the world of Middle-earth (notably in the long but
unfinished Lay of the Children of Húrin) to the dramatic dialogue
The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth (arising from the Old English poem The
Battle of Maldon) and to his 'Old Norse' poems The New Lay of the
Völsungs and The New Lay of Gudrún (to which he referred in a
letter of 1967 as 'a thing I did many years ago when trying to learn the art of
writing alliterative poetry'). In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight he
displayed his skill in his rendering of the alliterative verse of the fourteenth
century into the same metre in modern English. To these is now added his
unfinished and unpublished poem The Fall of Arthur
Ferré Professeur, Littérature générale et comparée Université Paris Est
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