We bought an electric monkey, experimenting rather
recklessly with funds carefully gathered since
grandfather’s time for the purchase of a steam monkey.

We had either, by this time, the choice of an electric
or gas monkey.

The steam monkey is no longer being made, said the monkey

But the family always planned on a steam monkey.

Well, said the monkey merchant, just as the wind-up monkey
gave way to the steam monkey, the steam monkey has given way
to the gas and electric monkeys.

Is that like the grandfather clock being replaced by the
grandchild clock?

Sort of, said the monkey merchant.

So we bought the electric monkey, and plugged its umbilical
cord into the wall.

The smoke coming out of its fur told us something was wrong.

We had electrocuted the family monkey.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Russell Edson's poem The Family Monkey


  1. tplife007 says:

    Enjoyable to visualize. I guess he’s saying that the new is not necessarily better than the old. It sounds like a warning message: just because technology is there doesn’t mean that we should use it. We could end up killing ourselves.

  2. Jessica says:

    I love poams, they are so cool to read. About love and happness! About peole you love and about your kids that you love too. Poams can make some one that is mad be happy! i can not right poams that good but I do no when i am bord and I sit downa nd white one some how it come out to be a good poam! I am just looking for a good monkey poam to give to some one I love so much!

  3. Joel Gonzalez says:

    I really enjoyed the poem you wrote. “The Family Monkey” was really good! I liked the way you used your words! Well I have to go for now! bye

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