Over Books

by flammeusgladius

Over Books



Over books, they pretend they understand.

The lonely king, the monster of the waste—

These are motifs, no more.  Readers demand

Motifs – but pain you feel and blood you taste

Are fierce, unfriendly things, not to be faced

Except, beloved Beowulf, by you.

The frightened queen, the royal court disgraced:

They too are real, and give your strength its cue.

In such a place, a hero has to do

Heroic deeds – and you will do your share.

About these weighty acts, the classroom crew

Will read.  Some will convince themselves they care.

But you’ll have paid the price that dragons claim—

And known at last the emptiness of fame.



–Tom Riley