Fantasy is a two-edged sword. It can amplify our disenchantment with the world, or refresh our appreciation of it. William Jay Smith does a great job communicating the romance of domesticity and refreshing our appreciation of life in his poem, “The Toaster.” He uses the unfamiliar (dragon) to refresh our wonder at the familiar (toaster). Tolkien once suggested: “We need … to clean our windows; so that the things seen clearly may be freed from the drab blur of triteness or familiarity –from possessiveness.” I think William Jay Smith accomplishes this admirably.
Here is the poem if it is too small to read on the illustration (but try clicking on the image, maybe twice, to see it larger):
by William Jay Smith
A silver-scaled Dragon with jaws flaming red
Sits at my elbow and toasts my bread.
I hand him fat slices and then, one by one,
He hands them back when he sees they are done.