I'm not sure if this has ever been covered before, but I recently came across a poem by Robert Browning.
It's called "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"; it was written in the 1800s.
I'm wondering if it was merely inspiration for Stephen King, or if it was just the name that he took from it.
I can't really understand the poem, so I'm not sure how closely it is to the Stephen King character of Roland or to the story of the Dark Tower series.
The only thing I can gather from it is that Roland is a very cynical character.
If anyone knows if this question has been answered at some point, I'd appreciate it; I don't, and have never, closely followed the community aspects of the Stephen King books before.
I also checked the FAQ beforehand and it wasn't there, and there weren't any threads on it that I could see, also searched the forums for previous threads on it and couldn't find anything.
Anyway, just wanted to ask in case anyone knew offhand.
Here's a link to the poem if anyone wants to look into it as well: http://www.bartleby.com/246/654.html