Friday, August 10, 2007

POETRY FRIDAY: A New Take on Beowulf

I like serious poetry. I also enjoy light verse that is well written. One of my favorite books of humorous poems for adults is Maurice Sagoff's Shrinklits: Seventy of the world's towering classics cut down to size. It is truly a riot. Here's an excerpt from Sagoff's version of a really old classic:

by Maurice Sagoff

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!

You can read the rest of the poem here.

At Wild Rose Reader, I have a review of a poetry book by Joanne Ryder entitled A Toad by the Road.


Anonymous said...

HA! How did I miss this last week? This is awesome! "Non-Beodegradable" - that's excellent.

Thanks, Elaine!

Elaine Magliaro said...


If you liked Sagoff's summary of Beowulf, I have no doubt you'd love his book SHRINKLITS. In fact, the book was recommended to me years ago by my friend David McCord--who is one of the GREATS of childrens poetry.

tanita✿davis said...

Heh. A Nordic soft-shoe shuffle.
Apologies for missing this gem. I, too, will check out the book - what a fun idea, along the lines of Fractured Fairytales, and fun for an English class!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I love SHRINKLITS. It's really fun to read. Unfortunately, I misplaced my copy recently.
Speaking of fractured fairy tales...did you ever read James Finn Garner's POLITICALLY CORRECT BEDTIME STORIES? The stories are retold fairy tales--and most of them are a riot!