Poems and Stories is a collection of pieces, originally published between 1949-75, that barely touches upon the Middle-Earth scenario for which Tolkien is justly famous; The book is lovely illustrated by Paulina Baynes. Overall it renders a much more complete account of the scholar, poet, critic, and storyteller's talents.
The charming, deceptively light poems of The Adventures of Tom Bambadil contain intriguing sidelights on Middle-Earth lore, while the dramatic poem The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, complete with scholarly introduction, describes the aftermath of the Battle of Maldon, which occurred in the year 991. The essay On Fairy-Stories has won critical acclaim, as has Farmer Giles of Ham and Smith of Wootton Major, as well as the story that most closely reflects Tolkien's personal philosophy Leaf by Niggle. Some of these may be familiar, or available individually; still, this collection is a splendid accompaniment for existing fans, or an excellent introduction for newcomers.