Achilles (for David Beckham)
by Carol Ann Duffy
Myth’s river- where his mother dipped him, fished him, a slippery golden boyflowed on, his name on its lips. Without him, it was prophesised,
they would not take Troy.
Women hid him, concealed him in girls’ sarongs; days of sweetmeats, spices, silver songs…
but when Odysseus came,
with an athlete’s build, a sword and a shield, he followed him to the battlefield, the crowd’s roar,
and it was sport, not war,
his charmed foot on the ball…
but then his heel, his heel, his heel…
Carol Ann Duffy: Why I was inspired to write a special poem to David Beckham
public aspect of some lives provides a narrative, a story, for the rest
of us to follow. We speak of ‘living the dream’, a ‘fairytale
existence’ of ‘legends’ and of ‘heroes’.
“Like Greek Myths,
such public lives can contain triumph and tragedy and in a way we all
learn from them, as we do from Ovid, or the Brothers Grimm, or
“The narrative of David Beckham’s public life is,
I’m sure, far from over… but this poem is written in sympathy for
this part of his story and to draw a parallel with Achilles, who gave
his name to Beckham’s injury.”
Well, is it time to have a poetry contest on SoccerBlog?