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By Russell Edson

A little girl made of sugar and spice and everything nice was eaten by someone with a sweet tooth the size of an elephant’s tusk.

         Ah, he said, this darn tooth, it’s driving me nuts.


         Then another voice is heard. It’s the little girl’s father who says, have you seen a little girl made of sugar and spice and everything nice?–Incidentally, what’s that thing sticking out of your mouth like an elephant’s tusk?

         My sweet tooth, and it’s really driving me nuts.

         You ought to see a dentist.

         But he might want to pull it, and I don’t like people pulling at me. If they want to pull they should pull at their own pullables.

         So true, said the little girl’s father, people should pull at their own pullables and let other people’s pullables alone. But still, he asked again, I wonder if you’ve seen a little girl made of sugar and spice and everything nice?


“Sweet Tooth” from The Tormented Mirror: Poems by Russell Edson © 2001. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: The Tormented Mirror (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001)

  • Living
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Russell Edson
Edson studied art early in life and attended the Art Students League when he was 16. In the 1960s he began publishing poetry; since then, he has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Russell Edson’s prose poems are often populated with strange and intriguing figures: a woman fights a tree, a mother serves ape. The poems are surreal and fablelike, sometimes resembling brief plays. He lived for many years in Stamford, Connecticut.

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