The Vampire By Jack Prelutsky Essay

Jack Prelutsky is a creator of inventive poems for children and adults alike. He served as the Poetry Foundation’s Children’s Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2008. Prelutsky grew up in the Bronx, and when he was young he studied classical music; though he gave up pursuing a career as an opera singer to concentrate on writing, he continues to sing.

In a interview, when asked where his ideas come from, Prelutsky said, “Everywhere! Everything I see or hear can become a poem. Several toys in my studio have turned into poems. I remember things that happened when I was a kid [. . .] Or I write about things I like or don’t like. I love spaghetti and wrote a poem about it.” Fabulous creatures and people inhabit his poems: the umbrellaphant, Uggs, and, in Scranimals (2002), banacondas, broccolions, and “the detested radishark.”

He has written more than 40 children’s books, often working with well-known illustrators such as Garth Williams, Arnold Lobel, and Marilyn Hafner. Prelutsky has also edited collections of poetry for children, including The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury (1999).

Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington state with his wife, Carolyn; they have no children, but they do have pets.

The night is still and somber,
and in the murky gloom,
arisen from his slumber,
the vampire leaves his tomb.

His eyes are pools of fire,
his skin is icy white,
and blood his one desire
this woebegotten night.

Then through the silent city
he makes his silent way,
prepared to take no pity
upon his hapless prey.

An open window beckons,
he grins a hungry grin,
and pausing not one second
he swiftly climbs within.

And there, beneath her covers,
his victim lies in sleep.
With fangs agleam, he hovers
and with those fangs, bites deep.

The vampire drinks till sated,
he fills his every pore,
and then, his thirst abated,
licks clean the dripping gore.

With powers now replenished,
his thirst no longer burns.
His quest this night is finished,
so to his tomb he turns,

and there awhile in silence
he’ll rest beneath the mud
until, with thoughts of violence,
he wakes and utters…BLOOD!
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Arnold Lobel 


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