Written by: Crystal Kouns

Todd Brown, a junior at Barberton High School and winner of the Honors College Poetry Slam hosted by Dr. Hal Foster and the Barberton Project on April 11,, is no stranger to conformity.

Brown, who hopes to one day become a professional tattoo artist, expressed his frustrations about conformity through his winning poem “Monster.”

The main message behind  “Monster” is that conformity restricts not only expression, but also one’s own individuality.

“Once you conform you can no longer change back to what you were before,” Brown said.

Conformity is something Brown deals with on a daily basis at Barberton High School. It is because of this conformity that Brown felt that “Monster” was  “a good poem and everyone needed to hear it.”

The Barberton High School students did hear it, and they responded with cheers.

“Poetry doesn’t come from the top of your head, you have to dig deep, and don’t be afraid to use dark writing,” Brown said.


You can kill me but not what I’ve become

Play your role as God, strike me down I beg

But you fear this monster you’ve made

Take away innocence and freedom

Soon the thoughts will cloud

You took my smile and perverted it

My mighty creator

Look master, see what I have done for you

Look at my glorious bounty of souls

I left my joy at the door, took to the darkness as you command

I have become jaded, though you cannot see

I have faded though you cannot feel

You fear what you made me

You fear what you’ve made real

My soul is stained

My heart is torn

I am no savior

I wear no crown of thorns

I hang not nail in tree

I am not the Son, but still you prey to me

You beg my forgiveness, but I am too far gone

My legions scan your body and move on

Witness my Kingdom of blood and bone

Such a pity to die alone

My master, if only you could see

The cause of your untimely end

Is simply the monster you made me