About this poet

On September 8, 1940, Jack Prelutsky was born in Brooklyn, and attended Hunter College in New York City. Although he claims to have hated poetry through most of his childhood, he rediscovered poetry later in life, and has devoted many years since to writing fresh, humorous poetry aimed specifically at kids.

"I realized poetry was a means of communication, that it could be as exciting or as boring as that person or that experience."

After stints as a truckdriver, photographer, folksinger, and more, he is now the author of more than forty collections of original verse and anthologies of children's poetry, including: Stardines Swim High Across the Sky: and Other Poems (2013); The Swamps of Sleethe: Poems From Beyond the Solar System (2009); Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem (2008); Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Facey And Other Poems (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 2008); Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Other Poems (2006); The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom (2006); The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983); Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1978), and The Queen of Eene (1976).

In 2006, Prelutsky was named the first Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. He lives in Seattle, Washington, and spends much of his time presenting poems to children in schools and libraries throughout the United States.

Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens

Jack Prelutsky, 1940
Last night I dreamed of chickens,
there were chickens everywhere,
they were standing on my stomach,
they were nesting in my hair,
they were pecking at my pillow,
they were hopping on my head,
they were ruffling up their feathers
as they raced about my bed.

They were on the chairs and tables,
they were on the chandeliers,
they were roosting in the corners,
they were clucking in my ears,
there were chickens, chickens, chickens
for as far as I could see...
when I woke today, I noticed
there were eggs on top of me.

From Something BIG Has Been Here, published by Greenwillow, 1990. Used with permission.

Jack Prelutsky

Jack Prelutsky

Born in 1940, Jack Prelutsky is the author of more than thirty collections and anthologies of children's poetry

by this poet

poem
Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you'd be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of
poem
"My stomach's full of butterflies!"
lamented Dora Diller.
Her mother sighed. "That's no surprise,
you ate a caterpillar!"
poem
I am Super Samson Simpson,
I'm superlatively strong,
I like to carry elephants,
I do it all day long,
I pick up half a dozen
and hoist them in the air,
it's really somewhat simple,
for I have strength to spare.

My muscles are enormous,
they bulge from top to toe,
and when I carry elephants,
they ripple to and