The Telling, a poem by David Wagoner at
Shahin Khalaji

The Telling

The Telling

written by: David Wagoner


The painted beams overhead,
Catch the flickering firelight,
In the king’s long post-built hall,
On this the dark longest night.

Before smoking center fire,
The scops chant Beowulf’s fight,
Tale of Grendel’s bloody end,
Words giant brings to our sight.

The giant killed the warriors,
Brought to Hrothgar’s mead-hall blight,
Beowulf the hero comes,
Of all men the bravest knight.

To Denmark across the sea,
Heard of Hrothgar’s awful plight,
Hied himself to Heorot Hall,
Gift his mighty help was right.

The giant wrestled the hero,
Beowulf Grendel held tight,
Ripped away that giant arm,
Righting Hrothgar’s honor’s slight.

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