If you are a monster, stand up. If you are a monster, a trickster, a fiend, If you’ve built a steam-powered wishing machine If you have a secret, a dark past, a scheme, If you kidnap maidens or dabble in dreams Come stand by me. If you have been broken, stand up. If you have been broken, abandoned, alone If you have been starving, a creature of bone If you live in a tower, a dungeon, a throne If you weep for wanting, to be held, to be known, Come stand by me. If you are a savage, stand up. If you are a witch, a dark queen, a black knight, If you are a mummer, a pixie, a sprite, If you are a pirate, a tomcat, a wright, If you swear by the moon and you fight the hard fight, Come stand by me. If you are a devil, stand up. If you are a villain, a madman, a beast, If you are a strowler, a prowler, a priest, If you are a dragon come sit at our feast, For we all have stripes, and we all have horns, We all have scales, tails, manes, claws and thorns And here in the dark is where new worlds are born. Come stand by me.
A Monstrous Manifesto, by Catherynne M. Valente
I had the privilege of hearing the lovely lady Catherynne deliver this manifesto in person at her acceptance speech for the award from the Mythopoeic Society in 2008. I was moved to tears.