During the week before National Poetry Day, I am aiming to post a poem (or two) each day. The ambition is to select works which have broad appeal, by contemporary poets.
Jack Prelutsky is an American who writes poetry for children. In 2006, the Poetry Foundation inaugurated him as the USA’s first Children’s Poet Laureate. Born in 1940 into a working class family in Brooklyn, New York, Prelutsky claims to have hated poetry as a boy, yet went on to write over 50 poetry collections. Probably my favourite is Stardines swim high across the sky (2013). Here, Prelutsky’s wordplay conjures fantastical imaginary creatures, and is matched with Carin Berger’s fabulous illustrations derived from miniature 3D paper dioramas.
Here is another from the same collection:
BLUFFALOES are bulky beasts,
Their demeanor is imposing,
They appear to be in charge.
* * *
Despite their size and attitude,
They’re neither fierce nor tough,
And BLUFFALOES just run away
If you should call their bluff.
And here the first ever Children’s Poet Laureate tells us a bit about himself.