Translating Beowulf

Of course I could have started it with “Hwaet.”

It’s what’s expected, and the word is short.

And Hwaet is full of gravitas. So what.

I started it with “So.” It could be worse.

I could have said, “Hey you!” or “Listen up!”

or “Dick-wads gather round.” But I chose “So”

because it segues nicely, don’t you think,

into the story. So . . . . Just so you know,

the ending’s just about what you’d expect.

It’s the beginning that is really weird

with monsters killing, eating everyone.

The ending isn’t any better, just

another bunch of people being killed.

There are not even any love affairs

to read about. There’s just a lot of blood

and body parts that fill the pages up.

It’s drivel. Oh, another monster dies.

Who cares. Oh Beowulf is dead. At last

the book is over. If he had been killed

by Grendel at the start, it would have made

the book a better book. A shorter book.

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