Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Jack Prelutsky - A Little Poem For Poetry Month

A Little Poem For Poetry Month
Jack Prelutsky

I’m glad we have a Poetry Month,
But still, I wonder why
They chose a month with thirty days—
Were months in short supply?
I wish that they’d selected
A longer month, like May.
I’m certain I’d appreciate
That extra poetry day.

Of course, if they’d picked February,
I would be aghast,
For February’s very short
And passes far too fast.
But April’s not as short as that,
So I don’t hesitate
To say I’m glad it’s Poetry Month.
Hooray! Let’s celebrate.

Copyright ©2009 by Jack Prelutsky. All rights reserved.

Jack Prelutsky went from being a kid who couldn’t stand poetry to being named by the Poetry Foundation as their first Children’s Poet Laureate. I could give you biographical information galore, but you can find that at his website or at the Academy of American Poets’ site or many other places.

Instead, I want to encourage each of you to grab a Jack Prelutsky poetry book and a child (or 10!) and mix 'em together to see what happens. Pick a collection like A Pizza the Size of the Sun or this March’s The Swamps of Sleethe: Poems from Beyond the Solar System and read a few poems aloud. Watch the reaction of your "audience." See them delight in the rhythms, the words, the images. Depending on the poems you’ve chosen, you might get laughs or "ooohs" or both (and you might react the same way!). But once you’ve done this, I think you’ll understand exactly why Jack Prelutsky is beloved by so many kids -- and teachers and parents and librarians. Try it yourself and see!

I know I’m absolutely thrilled to have Jack Prelutsky kicking off 30 Poets/30 Days… and I’m looking forward to Midnight Stray by Rebecca Kai Dotlich tomorrow!


BookChook said...

I grabbed a JP book from my shelf (Something BIG has been here), and found a favourite -I'm Certain I Sing Like an Angel.

I remembered all over agin how much I like that Prelutsky sense of humour! Thanks Jack and Gregory K.

Mark said...

What a fantastic way to start the day, and poetry month. Thanks, Greg and Jack!

Inquirer said...

I'm going out today to get a book of his poetry. Thanks for introducing us.

I'm also posting a poem a day in April.

Unknown said...

Great poem! A perfect way to kick it off.

The kids and I are going to check in each morning.

Dr. Letizia said...

I just found your website. This is a great idea for Poetry Month with a great list of guest poets. I look forward to using it with my middle school students! Just too bad we have a week off for spring break.
Thank You.

Anonymous said...

Way to kick the month off in style!

Laurie said...

Thanks for starting the month in style.


(And thanks also for the heads-up. I didn't even remember it was national poetry month until a I read out your month of poems on a friend's blog.)

Terry Doherty said...

What a great way to get us revved for the month. Off to find What a Day it Was at School. Love that book. PS - Did you see they added an extra day to April ... April Fools!

morninglight mama said...

Oh, how much I relied on JP when I was teaching preschool! A little poem now and then at the beginning of a story time or a group meeting always got everyone's attention.

Read your guest post at 5M4B, and I will be visiting your blog all month long (and I'll probably even stick around after that!) :) Thanks for reminding me of the fun that poetry can bring-- I think my toddlers and I will be grabbing some new books off the shelf today.

Pam said...

Gentle-people, start your poems!
National Poetry Month has begun!

Anonymous said...

A great start to NPM. "Ride a purple pelican" is one of the poems I remember best from my childhood! I put science poems all around the museum this morning--shall be off to hunt down some more good ones for the children's museum building today. Thanks for the inspiration!

Tarie Sabido said...

Yesss! It's finally April! That's a great poem to kick off 30 Poets/30 Days. :)

Cathy C. Hall said...

I think that I shall never see
A poet as witty as J. Prelutsky.

(But I'll keep coming back 'cause I don't want to miss a single poem! Thanks to you and all the poets making this month such fun!)

Unknown said...

My boys, who are no longer "kids" they tell me, can still do most of the poems in "The Dragons are Singing Tonight" by heart. Because of that experience, it's one of my standard baby gifts. Just bought some new JP for a new baby, mostly so I could read it first.

Von said...

Love It!

Liz in Ink said...

This is going to be a heck of a month!!!

Anonymous said...

Very recently found your site. Kudos. My three sixth grade LA classes will be checking in every day to begin our classtime with the new poem posted. Thank you!

Erin said...

Love it! Prelutsky's always been a favorite of mine, and his ode to poetry month is super. :)

Elaine Magliaro said...


I'll return every day to read the poems you're posting. Thanks for giving us thirty days of poems to celebrate National Poetry Month!

Melissa Wiley said...

A fabulous beginning! What a treat! Thanks again, Greg. And Jack!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! These poems will be posted in our elementary school hallway and ultimately lead to the library door where we will be reading poetry all month!

Sue M

Candace Ryan said...

How apropoetical! Great poem to kick things off.

David LaRochelle said...

What a great way to start the month, Greg. And I'm pleased to feature you on my own blog today:

Have a fantastic month, Mr. Poetry King!

Dolores Johnson said...

You are as good an organizer of this poetry program as you were the leader of the SCBWI critique group last month. Keep it up and flyin'!

Sally Murphy said...

What a great way to start Poetry Month.

Amber said...

Jack's New Kid on the Block was my first book of poetry and it was the first poetry my daughter heard. Thanks for a fun start to the new month!

Linda said...

Jack performed some of his poems at our state reading conference several years ago. He had everyone in stitches!

Unknown said...

He actually read poems at my intermediate school when I was a kid. I had several of his books and I was SO EXCITED to see him and hear him read. That was the first time I'd ever heard an author read, and I remember it to this day. TOO COOL. My favorite poem of his is the one about Fred putting the underwear on his head. This always cracked me up because Fred is my dad's name. Love him. At one point, I even had it memorized to perform in class. When I have kids, they'll have all of his books.