Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Monster Den

There are all kinds of monsters in the world. Some are imagined, some are real, and some we create ourselves. Even though the title suggests otherwise, this book of poetry by John Ciardi is a fond look at the author's life with the "monsters" he and his wife created: his three children.

Published in 1966 by J.B. Lippencott Company, The Monster Den, or Look What Happened at My House - and to It showcases 18 poems by John Ciardi, each illustrated by Edward Gorey. My copy is signed by Mr. Ciardi.  John Ciardi taught at Harvard was an influential figure in Edward Gorey's development as an author/poet.

Mr. Gorey's illustrations throughout the book are whimsical and created with a light touch. Figures cavort, dance, and float in space on the page. Sometimes the family members have the heads of monsters, as shown on the dust jacket, but most often they are instantly recognizable as typical "Gorey people".

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