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Holy Smokes, it’s Dorothea Lasky!

By Harriet Staff


Yep, that’s right: we flashed the signal. This time, here she is at The Learning Network: Teaching and Writing with the New York Times’sPoetry Pairing” column, with her poem “Monsters:” just in time for Halloween! Read it (as well as a piece by Dan Barry about searching for the New Jersey Devil) at NYT’s Learning Network.

With Halloween coming, this Poetry Pairing features “Monsters” by Dorothea Lasky and the 2008 This Land column “In the Wilds of New Jersey, a Legend Inspires a Hunt” by Dan Barry.

After reading the poem and article, tell us what you think — or suggest other Times content that could be matched with the poem instead.


Dorothea Lasky’s poem “Monsters” appeared in “Poetry Not Written for Children That Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy,” a portfolio of poems that Lemony Snicket selected for the September 2013 issue of Poetry. In his footnotes, Mr. Snicket remarks: “The word ‘monster’ automatically makes a poem more interesting.”


By Dorothea Lasky

This is a world where there are monsters
There are monsters everywhere, raccoons and skunks
There are possums outside, there are monsters in my bed.
There is one monster. He is my little one.
I talk to my little monster.
I give my little monster some bacon but that does not satisfy him.
I tell him, ssh ssh, don’t growl little monster!
And he growls, oh boy does he growl!
And he wants something from me,
He wants my soul.
And finally giving in, I give him my gleaming soul
And as he eats my gleaming soul, I am one with him
And stare out his eyepits and I see nothing but white
And then I see nothing but fog and the white I had seen before was nothing
but fog
And there is nothing but fog out the eyes of monsters.

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Posted in Poetry News on Monday, October 28th, 2013 by Harriet Staff.