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This poem is taken from PN Review 216, Volume 40 Number 4, March - April 2014.

‘The Hungarian Who Beat Brazil’ and Other Poems Paul McLoughlin
The Hungarian Who Beat Brazil

for my father (1918–1980)


What we were at one about was
the Hungarian who beat Brazil.

He quickened hearts each time
he touched the ball or quickened

ours, and his death invited
obituarists to note no more

than those who saw him
would expect: his elegance,

his close control, his poise,
his Ballon d’Or. For you

he was a dancer with the ball
tied to his boot; the way he’d

glide. He floated over grass
like a human hovercraft, you said.

It wasn’t just the guile, the finishing,
...


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