Young Poet;Poem;The beast inside me by Nicholas Brown;Features amp; Arts

5th November 1999 at 00:00
A fresh look at a familiar story; it's good to see it tackled so boldly. A sure way of making the most unlikely event sound convincing is to supply local and everyday detail, as Nicholas Brown does here with, "that Friday night,Was it something I ate?" and "I rushed to the bathroom." After a slightly shaky start, (the "nightinsight" rhyme is awkward, and the next line could happily lose a syllable), the poem gains momentum and confidence, particularly after the two well-placed short lines. The rhymes and rhythm sustain the cracking pace right up to the marvellous closing couplet that contains the combination of humour, excitement and wonder which is the heart of the poem; "Never would a carnivore chew the cud,Half man half beast I hungered blood."

CLIFF YATES The change took place that Friday night, Was it something I ate? I had no insight, I rushed to the bathroom as quickly as I could, I looked in the mirror and there I stood, My eyes were glowing, My hair was growing, From my fingers, claws proceeded, I was changing rapidly. Why? I pleaded.

Hard as a rock, I grew three feet bigger, There I was a grotesque figure, Teeth that could crunch through flesh and bone, My voice deepened to a growling tone, Never would a carnivore chew the cud, Half man half beast I hungered blood.

Nicholas Brown

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