Jerome Betts: Calling the Oberhausen Oracle

(A Weymouth-born octopus in a German aquarium correctly predicted eight football World Cup results in 2010, including the final between Spain and Holland, but died three months later and was cremated.)



Dear lowly Octopus vulgaris,
    Now long consumed by cleansing flame,
As Paul, the World Cup’s vates maris,
    You scaled, eight-limbed, the heights of fame.

Mollusc of modest English hatching,
    A foreign tank was not our wish;
Still, gold’s a fever, always catching,
    Nicht wahr, mein lieber Tintenfisch?

Your choice to take a final beating
     Left world-wide Latin-lovers glad,
Although its tweeting and repeating
     Drove orange-shirted fans quite mad.

Now, in Brazil, as teams assemble
    Each hoping to be best of all
We miss the shape that made them tremble
    Predicting who would rise or fall.

Bendito pulpo (blessing, Spanish)
     Verdomd acht-armige (curse, Dutch)
 How tragic if your gift should vanish,
     So please get, psychically, in touch!