Close
Close

Steven Heighton

Steven Heighton’s most recent book is the novel Afterlands.

Poem: ‘Selected Monsters’

Steven Heighton, 3 July 2008

for Barbara Gowdy

In Florence, circa 1460, Cosimo de’ Medici enclosed a mixed group of animals in a pen and invited Pope Pius II to attend the spectacle, which was meant to determine which beast was the most ferocious: the lion, the fighting bull, the bloodhound, the gorilla, or perhaps the giraffe – an animal then known in Europe as a Camelopard.

‘Holiness, with these...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences