This Haunted Mary

A poetic ode to Mrs. Shelley’s geniusIllustration by author

This haunted Mary,
Who made that written creature
Of hers immortal,

One storm powered night,
When in a fellowship of
Writers and poets,

The rogue Byron tasked
His peers to write frightful tales
And entertain all.

Mary rose the most,
And inspired by dark dreams
Of man and monster,

She wrote the tale of
A stitched Lucifer, cast out
By his God father.

This rejected soul
Becoming vengeful angel
Against a cruel world.

And though lost to ice,
The Creature lives forever,
His mother Mary.

This was originally a three line haiku (inspired by my original drawing above), now expanded into a multi-stanza haiku. I’ve always been fascinated by the events that led to Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’; when the writer, her love Percy, Lord Byron and others spent the summer of 1816 by Lake Geneva, Switzerland. A ghost story challenge by Byron led to ‘The Vampyre’, by John Polidori (which itself would lead to ‘Dracula’), but more importantly, the challenge birthed ‘Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus’, by Mary. Thanks for reading.

This Haunted Mary was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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