Short poemsare fun," says Steve Turner. "You can seeat a glancewhether youlike themor not" (from "Short Poem"). Eight good lines are much better than 20 average ones, I tell my classes.
"The Monster Under My Bed" is a case in point. It takes a familiar, almost cliched, idea and turns it into poetry through the technique of personification: telling us that the monster eats dreams and drinks thoughts. But it's the final line which does it for me. "Black eyes and purplehair" are conventional enough: a "body the colour of sleep" is, however, something altogether more mysterious, suggesting, perhaps, a similarity with the speaker's own body, a neat and scary twist to a story we think we know.
THE MONSTER UNDER MY BED.
No one knows about
The monster under my bed.
He's lived there for ten thousand years.
Eating my dreams and drinking
With his black eyes and purple
His body the colour of sleep.
by Aidan Mousley
Aidan Mousley, aged 12, receives 'Book of Classic Poetry - an illustrated collection'. Selected by Michael Rosen (Walker). His poem was submitted by Cliff Yates of the Maharishi School, Ormskirk, Lancashire, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teacher's notes. Please send students' poems to 'TES' Young Poet, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Anthony Wilson is Poetry Society poet-in-residence for primary education, and the author of 'How Far From Here Is Home?' (Stride) and co-author of 'The Poetry Book for Primary Schools' (Poetry Society)