John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

(3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973 / Orange Free State)

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
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Oxford University Press HarperCollins Houghton Mifflin   Christopher Tolkien
# 38 poem on top 500 Poems

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209.4 / 10 ( 500 votes )

Comments about this poem (All That is Gold Does Not Glitter by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien )

  • Rookie Grant Koehler (4/13/2009 11:23:00 PM)

    I agree wholeheartedly with Nikki, JRR Tolkien, considered by many, myself included, to be the greatest fantasy writer and literary genius, would not write a poem and only have one meaning for it. Poetry is supposed to be interpreted by the reader. While your rendition of the poem, standing for the 8 things you listed, is the literal meaning, it is not the only interpretation. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Rookie Yasmin A (3/25/2009 3:06:00 AM)

    Ok, sorry to burst loadsa people's bubbles here, but this poem is actually from The Lord Of The Rings, and it's about Aragorn. Gandalf tells the hobbits this poem so they will know the real Aragorn. The lines mean this:
    1: Aragorn is descended from kings, but as a Ranger not many people know that.
    2: Ranger- Aragorn wanders everywhere but he always knows exactly where he's going and why.
    3: He is 87, but still looks young.
    4: Nobody can change his ancestors.
    5: In Mordor the volcanoe will erupt. (Or like a phoenix something new will come from something old)
    6: There will be a good leader and good times in the land from the reign of Sauron.
    7: Isildur's sword which was trodden on by Sauron is fixed by the elves for him. (He carries a broken sword when the hobbits first meet him)
    8: He is crownless but he will be King of Gondor.

    I mean, yeah you can believe everything about inner virtues and all that but that is the truth. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jessica Jemima (3/19/2009 5:09:00 AM)

    I wish I could so clearly convey so much in a few perfect lines with perfect rhymes. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sara S (2/13/2009 7:48:00 PM)

    I have this poem memorized! But is is a short poem. I really really really like this one! It is my favorite of all of his, maybe my favorite of all the poems I know. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Lauren R (11/13/2008 11:30:00 PM)

    I've loved Tolken since i was about 10 years old, and still to this day this is my favorite of his works. (aside from the riddles in The Hobbit that is)
    i used to run around saying this to people all the time... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 5,611 Points Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (9/11/2008 9:47:00 PM)

    I realy like this poem a great deal.It's so full of hope. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Vivian Griffiths (8/23/2008 5:50:00 PM)

    being uncertain of what the author means leaves a fabulous ambiguity about these lines, your opinion as my own are just opinions! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sarah Mustang (8/17/2008 7:09:00 PM)

    All that glisters is not gold- one of my favorate sayings. This is an excellent poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Lucy Anonymus (6/7/2008 10:34:00 AM)

    It`s one of my favorite poems, and I wonder how many people tried to turn it into music yet...? ? ? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sean Andrews (4/29/2008 10:31:00 PM)

    Bingo, the couple folks who mentioned “Golden hearts” and the like I believe have it right, Gold being a reference for something good/valuable doesn’t have to glitter i.e. the metal, it can be found in many other places/forms. Some people “wander” merely to look and see what they see, fairly self-evident. “old that is strong…deep roots” if founded on good morals and established and maintained with those original ideals in place then “does not wither…not reached by frost” I’m thinking personally of the church, but it can be applied to many things countries, constitutions, any system where good principals go into the founding, and those ideals are maintained throughout will weather storms and not die. “ashes…shadows” “fire…light” broken blade, renewed all these seem to say no matter how dark it gets hope, light, renewal, will come back…I hate to quote the movie but as it does come from Mr Tolkien “this too shall pass.” As far as the last line I too believe he was speaking of Christ, hence my first thought above being of the church…taken in context the entire poem could potentially be one big reference to the second coming of Christ, maybe those faithful who remain in faith are the gold? Likely though its meant to be a little more encompassing and vague for that reason. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie D S (10/30/2007 6:13:00 AM)

    Good God, some of you people have serious issues. Besides, you can't be racist against a religion. If you're going to make wildly inaccurate accusations, at least have the decency to properly phrase your questions. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie D S (10/30/2007 6:12:00 AM)

    Gold topic of wander, yet fdsjfklsjfkldsfdslk; fdsjfdsklfjdskl; fjkl; dfdsjkl; fdjklsfjsdkl; fjsdklfjskfldsjflkdsjfkldsjfsdlkfjdsaklfjadsklfjsdklfjsadkl; fsladjf (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,973 Points Naveed Akram (8/27/2007 3:49:00 PM)

    Gold is a topic of wonder, and it looks wonderful to write of it in poetic mannerism. The glittering is claimed to be most likely gold, with the obvious alliteration. Then the people who wander, namely the rangers and paladins, will be lost in the quest for gold. The gold is lost to those who are lost. They are either lost or lost with gold, that is even magically without gold. Even though golden objects are being indicated, the golden nature of such magic items are supposed to glitter in their supremacy. They have ruled the whole world. The nature of the world is that it is old, ancient and strong, always with the reason that makes the world strong, and that is probably and naturally magic and sorcery. The strong does not wither, and the roots are deep - they are not deep but too deep. Fire does not stir until power has been reached in the world. Gold is like fire, yet power is like fire, thus gold is powerful especially when it has glittered magically!
    It will wake from the ashes naturally, combining nature and the world of power that is magic and sorcery. That is how “light from the shadows shall spring”, and this is due to the world being a world of darkness as well. The blade must be ambiguity for grass, such as the ashes, or sword for the wars fought. Crowns are always fought for in this world and with magic at the forefront: the blade is supposed to be renewed. The cycle is everlasting. The king is a ghostly figure with a gold-like crown. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Barry Mck (8/18/2007 4:09:00 AM)

    Great poem but there is no symbology in it, it is Aragorn's poem, and meant to convey the fact that he is a king underneath even though he is a dirty ranger, and that he will come out someday and take his throne. Also the 'Blade that was broken' is Narsil which was forged again into 'Anduril'. Tolkien himself stated at the beginning of the book that he hates allegory in all it's forms, and that the book is not symbolic or allegoric. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Gaurav Mittal (7/20/2007 3:21:00 AM)

    Get goosebumps everytime I read it :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jessica Jemima (7/6/2007 3:36:00 AM)

    i could imagine him [jrr tolkien] puffin away on his merry old pipe staring at his pen trying to think of sonmething that rhymes with 'glitter'. lol. great poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie purple moon (6/21/2007 7:31:00 AM)

    very inspiring xx..................................................................... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Yaritza Florencio (6/1/2007 7:37:00 PM)

    This poem is beutiful if you have read his books you can really understand his words (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Joyce King (5/4/2007 4:26:00 PM)

    Good God, some of you people have serious issues. Besides, you can't be racist against a religion. If you're going to make wildly inaccurate accusations, at least have the decency to properly phrase your questions. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ulveena Aitzaz (3/11/2007 11:09:00 AM)

    This poems is true to the heart of mankind. (Report) Reply

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