Woeful Wanderers, wish for Beowulf

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 breakers smash, amidst the surf
waves crash and malcontents curse
we watch, warriors of the turf
far removed, from rivals in verse
churning shingle, as fans mingle
shifting sands, fluctuating form, but still there’s such a tingle
Old Gold shirts, housing heavy hearts
travel shorewards, in their legions
fuelled by hope and a belief that counterparts
could yet suffer, in these coastal regions
brave men board, their mode of transport
examine their listed army
appraise their beleagured leader, then with many a consort
foolishly debate, that which drives them barmy
away with a will, a wish for a win
triumphant in their travels?
fleet foam flicks, waves roll in (if only the goals would)
Wolves at the door, as the tension unravels …


A New Year, an empty brain.
Travelling on the Dublin to Cork train.
Catching up on the previous Sunday’s papers.
Beguiled, by Wolves’ woeful form, and Beowulf’s capers.

The main poem : an unjustly juxtuposition, perhaps.
It was fashioned after falling asleep on the train, having just read two
totally different, and totally unrelated stories.
One, was concerning Wolves’ faltering form in the First Division this season (and their perennial failure to get out of said division).
The second, was a fascinating account, about how an American academic has found a translation of the olde English poem, Beowulf, by J R R Tolkien (he of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, fame).

Written in Old English about 1100 AD, Beowulf describes the adventures of a great Scandinavian warrior of the sixth century.

The article then went on, to compare one of Tolkien’s passages, (about the passage of Beowulf and his men, setting sail for England), directly with the same excerpt as translated by Seamus Heaney’s Whitbread prize winning version of the same poem.

From my befuddled awakening, I’ve transposed bits of both poems, with some of what must be the frustrations of being a Wolves fan.

The article was from page 3 of the Sunday Times, 29th Dec 2002.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/woeful-wanderers-wish-for-beowulf/