Monday, March 20, 2006

Beowulf, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, Seamus Heaney translates, a great prize follows,
we ourselves compare the translations and Heaney's follow,
and moreover my high school teachers told me
(repeatingly) 'Return to the books that bore you,
give them a second chance when you've gained the necessary

Inner Resources.' I conclude now I have no
inner resources or the wherewithal for Beowulf.
Its speeches bore me,
Its armor, its great mead hall,
Beowulf bores me, his lack of personality
worse than an evil one,

who destroys Grendel and Grendel's mother, which bores me.
And the melting blade, and more speeches, no wag
and somehow fifty years pass
and Beowulf himself is taken considerably away
into the heat of the funeral pyre, leaving
behind: yawns, a dead dragon.

( With major, major apologies to John Berryman.)

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