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NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompt 6: Monsters!!!

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

"Ulysses and the Sirens," by John William Waterhouse (1891).

"Ulysses and the Sirens," by John William Waterhouse (1891).

Difficulty Level: 2/5

It's a monstrous day here at Flashbang! Today, for National Poetry Writing Month--NaPoWriMo, if you will--your task is to write a monster poem. Before we talk more about monster poems, let's read one about the siren.

Siren's Song
by Nina Sauer

A chorus for the coral,
a mariner's moral,
salty promises she can't keep.
She called from rocks
to men long from dock,
floating on a pirate's heap.
She sang a song,
and it wasn't long,
till the sailors took the leap.
One by one,
till it was done,
into the waters deep.
The ocean waves,
became their graves,
their souls she did reap.
The rising tide
hid her lies,
as she sang them fast to sleep.

Oh, let's read another one--about the hodag:

Ode to the Hodag
by Kristin LaTour

O greenish monster of the Wisconsin woods,
How terrifying you were from where I stood
At the edge of the golf course, the rough so green,
As you swallowed my ball and quit the scene.

Your oversized teeth, how white how straight,
Are pointy and sharp, much to the sad fate,
Of a small child in Boom Lake a-swimming.
Of Rhinelander's population, you keep trimming.

Marshmallows, s'mores, and hot cocoa you seek
At campfire side, we have known you to sneak,
And upon your spiky tail, impale the sugary treat
Then toast it and slurp it, whilst we soil our own seats.

Your effigy we make, to warn travelers in cars.
At rest stops, and gas stations, and even in bars
We tell of the anglers who sit in their boats
And whose muskies you steal. We know that you gloat

In your speed and your stink. There are even claims
Your horns pick up the transmission of Brewer's games.
Please stay in the woods, the meadows and lakes.
Leave us to our beers and sausages for Pete's sake.

(Click for more about Kristin LaTour. Both poems reprinted here courtesy of their authors, and both originally appeared in the anthology Free Monster Poems About Monsters from Hyacinth Girl Press.)

Now it's your turn. To write a monster poem, first pick your monster. This handy-dandy infographic will give you some ideas if you're stumped. You could also make up a monster; be sure to think up what special powers it has and how it can be defeated. Then decide if you will write from the point of view of the monster itself, like this "Siren Song" by Margaret Atwood, or if you will write a poem describing the monster, as Nina Sauer did in "Siren's Song," or if you will directly address the monster, as Kristin LaTour did in "Ode to the Hodag." From there, it's just you and your imagination: who does the monster attack? Who attacks the monster? What does the monster symbolize?

When you finish, send it to us for publication on this here blog: flashbangwriting@gmail.com. We're publishing poems by teens all month--and probably for a long time thereafter, too


Are you local to Pittsburgh? Have you registered for the Poem-A-Thon yet? Sign up to write poems and raise money for the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council today!