Poetry: Jack Prelutsky’s The Dragons are Singing Tonight

May 30, 2009


Jack Prelutsky’s The Dragons are Singing Tonight (illustrated by Peter Sís and published by Greenwillow, 1993) is a poetry books about dragon–pet dragons, lazy dragons, mechanical dragons, disconsolate dragons, baby dragons–dragons of all shapes and sizes.  My sister read this book often to her five boys when they were little and they love it to this day.

Using wonderful rythms and imagery, The Dragons are Singing Tonight tells the secrets of a dragon’s life.  What should you do if your dragon gets sick?  The poem My Dragon Wasn’t Feeling Good has the answer:

I took him to a doctor

Just as quickly as I could,

A specialist in dragons,

And she’s in our neighborhood.

She took his pulse and temperature,

Then fed him turpentine

And phosphorus and gasoline–

My dragon’s doing fine.

These poems celebrate the days of yore when knights, dragons, and fair maidens roamed the land, and life was full of mystery and magic.  In “cacophonous chorus” the dragons awake:

They sing of the days of their glory,

They sing of their exploits of old,

Of maidens and knights, and of fiery fights.

And guarding vast caches of gold.

Jack Prelutsky is a well known and beloved children’s poet, and according to the jacket flap of The Dragons are Singing Tonight, he’s also one of the most frequently anthologized poets writing today.  His poetic language–and his dragons-are enchanting.

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