Friday, April 30, 2010

Poetry Tag: Jack Prelutsky is IT

April has come to an end and so does our game of Poetry Tag in celebration of National Poetry Month. What fun it’s been to watch the game unfold, with each poet sharing a poem, connected one to another and tagging the next poet. Yesterday, Douglas Florian shared a brand new poem, “My Monster.” Next up, Jack Prelutsky picked up the gauntlet and offered his own brand new original “monster” creation. He writes, “At first I was just going to submit a previously published poem, but then I decided to accept the challenge and not only respond directly to Doug's poem, but continue it. I don't think that my ‘response’ needs any explanation.” Here is Jack’s new creation.

By Jack Prelutsky

Dear monster, if you do not sweep,
I probably can’t fall asleep,
For when my room is thick with dust,
I’m filled with anguish and disgust.

Sweet monster, sweep as I request,
And then we both can get some rest.
Don’t hesitate, pick up the broom,
And clear the cobwebs from my room.

"Dear Monster" copyright ©2010 by Jack Prelutsky

Five fun facts about Jack Prelutsky
*he was born in Brooklyn, New York
*he has worked as an opera singer, folk singer, truck driver, photographer, plumber’s assistant, piano mover, cab driver, and standup comedian
*he collects frog miniatures
*he was the first Children’s Poet Laureate of the U.S.
*he has authored a guide book for young readers, Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry; How to Write a Poem (Greenwillow, 2008)
[Based on Poetry People; A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets]

Look for these selected poetry books written or compiled by Prelutsky:
*The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (Random House, 1983)
*Read-aloud Rhymes for the Very Young (Knopf, 1986)
*The Beauty of the Beast (Knopf, 1997)
*The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury (Knopf, 1999)
*Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (Mulberry Books, 1976/1993)
*The New Kid on the Block (Greenwillow, 1984)
*Something Big Has Been Here (Scholastic, 1990)
*The Dragons are Singing Tonight (Scholastic, 1993)
*A Pizza the Size of the Sun (Greenwillow, 1996)
*The Gargoyle on the Roof (Greenwillow, 1999)
*It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles (Greenwillow, 2000)
*Awful Ogre’s Awful Day (Greenwillow, 2001)
*If Not for the Cat: Haiku (Greenwillow, 2004)
*Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme (Random House, 2005)
*Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant: And Other Poems (Greenwillow, 2006)
*Good Sports; Rhymes About Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More (Knopf, 2007)
*Awful Ogre Running Wild (Greenwillow, 2008)
*Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face and Other Poems (Greenwillow, 2008)
*My Dog May Be a Genius (Greenwillow, 2008)
*The Swamps of Sleethe; Poems From Beyond the Solar System (Knopf, 2009)


Thank you, poets!

Thank you, poets, for joining in this month-long game of Poetry Tag and generously offering your poems for my readers to enjoy, then "tagging" a fellow poet who then shared her/his own poem CONNECTED to the previous poem in some way—by a theme, word, idea, tone. What fun it has been to celebrate each new poem and poet and enjoy the interesting connections between them all.

Thank you to
J. Patrick Lewis, X. J. Kennedy, Avis Harley, Rebecca Dotlich, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Joan Bransfield Graham, April Halprin Wayland, Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, Kristine O'Connell George, Alice Schertle, Jane Yolen, Heidi Stemple, Lesléa Newman, Marilyn Nelson, Pat Mora, Naomi Shihab Nye, Carrie Fountain, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Matthea Harvey, Helen Frost, Georgia Ella Lyon, Marie Bradby, Nikki Grimes, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Janet Wong
, Betsy Franco, Bobbi Katz, Douglas Florian, and Jack Prelutsky.

What a lovely community of poets, what a wonderful way to enjoy each day of National Poetry Month.

Thank you, readers, too, for joining in, for commenting, and for your year-long support of a blog focused exclusively on poetry for young people. I hope you’ll take this idea of playing “Poetry Tag” into your schools, classrooms, libraries, work and play places, and challenge your kids and colleagues to find, share, and link poems all year long! Now, YOU’RE IT!

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2010. All rights reserved.

Image credits:;;schoollibraryjournal;gasolinealleyantiques


Mary Lee said...

What a great lineup (and as you say, a great community) of children's poets! Thanks for letting us get to know them in a new way, one at a time, all month long!

Amy L V said...

This was a tremendous idea and such fun to watch the game! I will definitely share this with teachers. (It'd make for a great book.) Thank you!

Brimful Curiosities said...

I wish the monsters would clean up my kids' rooms!

Jane Heitman Healy said...

Sylvia, thank you so much for this whirlwind of poetic talent! Every day, every poet, every poem was a delight!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you for organizing the party, Sylvia--and a party it has been!

Greg Pincus said...

The game of tag was fabulous! Thanks for organizing it and making sure the players behaved :-) Truly, it was great reading along all month!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

This was really a great idea and a well done production. You are an inspiration!

Zooky Shirts said...

Thanks for posting the game of poetry tag! I'm late to the party in just discovering it, but I'm going to go back to the beginning, read some fun poems, and discover poets I hadn't heard of before. Thanks, and great job!

Kate Coombs said...

Sylvia, I loved reading the tag poem every morning all month! As I told Greg, I am in withdrawal now, missing the daily does here, at Gottabook, and at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Thank you so much!

Dan Heilbrun said...


I rattled a poem off the other day for the heck of it. I posted it to a blog. I dont know, I just want to share it with someone and I found you.

Please take a read and offer feedback if you can.

Also, thanks for the great ideas I got from this blog!!!!

Radu Prisacaru said...

Fantastic blog. Keep on rockin, Radu Prisacaru – UK Internet Marketer & Web Developer