I don' think I can even express how much I love this poem, Maurice Sagoff's 1980 take on Beowulf, first posted by my friend Ronnie this morning - but I had to share with y'all!
Sagoff was a journalist-turned-poet who wrote Shrinklits: 70 of the World's Towering Classics Cut Down to Size, a collection that "cleverly and succinctly summarized literary classics in verse." (and I must get my hands on that!)
Puts Seamus Heaney's version to shame, donchathink?
Monster Grendel's tastes are plainish.
Breakfast? Just a couple Danish.
King of Danes is frantic, very.
Wait! Here comes the malmö ferry
Bringing Beowulf, his neighbor,
Mighty swinger with a saber!
Hrothgar's warriors hail the Swede,
Knocking back a lot of mead;
Then, when night engulfs the Hall
And the Monster makes his call,
Beowulf, with body-slam
Wrenches off his arm, Shazam!
Monster's mother finds him slain,
Grabs and eats another Dane!
Down her lair our hero jumps,
Gives old Grendel's dam her lumps.
Later on, as king of Geats
He performed prodigious feats
Till he met a foe too tough
And that scaly-armored dragon
Scooped him up and fixed his wagon.
Sorrow-stricken, half the nation
Flocked to Beowulf's cremation;
Round his pyre, with drums a-muffle
Did a Nordic soft-shoe shuffle.
Apologies for the length here - I don't know if you can do cuts on Blogger like you can on LiveJournal.