Poem 52 – The Work of Your Hands

‘Listen to me, and then, if you can, and if you will, destroy the work of your hands’
– The Monster
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Chapter 10

Born to abhorrence, and born as filth,
Created in arrogance, raised to disdain,
Who is to blame that I am your bane?
Always a monster, ever-reviled,
How could your creature ever be reconciled
With humanity, so pure and fair,
Self-proclaimed worthiest creatures beneath the blessed air,
And my creators?
I’m monstrous, part of the other,
An enemy to the brotherhood of man.
Formed in repulsive sin in most detested form,
Destined to fear and wander forlorn,
Abandoned – no, repelled! – by those most like me,
For I am not Man, but a gross reflection of his divinity,
And a creation unclean.

What kindness can I perform that I will not remain unredeemed,
Formed in sin, perpetually unclean?
No angel am I, falling from the skies,
But a demon from the start, rising on a mound of wretched filth –
The half-eaten leavings of civilisation, with none as low as my ilk.
You leave me alone, as not worthy of your disdain,
And still let me live as a product of your reign,
Casting down the wretched bones of your charity,
Just to hear them drop down to your son’s depravity.
I remain where I was made, while you sit on your throne,
Preventing me from climbing up, yet leaving me alone.
Kill me if you will, with the very hands that made me,
Unless you wish to purify them and use them instead to save me.


Dear readers,
One of the most intriguing sections of Frankenstein, for me at least, is the part in which the Monster narrates his tale of creation and life in a world where, to him at least, he feels condemned from the start to a life of miserable solitude. The story certainly inspires sympathy. I have written my little piece – I think it’s probably a little too obvious who’s side I’m on. Nonetheless, I hope it is worth the time you kindly took to read it.
All the best,
The Hapless Neo-Romantic


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