Jeepers, Creepers…

Last Friday I attended a wonderful session of the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival. Irene Latham, Laura Purdie Salas, and Vikram Madan all gave great tips on sharing and inspiring poetry with students, using examples from their own and other’s poems. If you’re interested, you can find a recording of the workshop here. As part of the session, Irene introduced her book NINE, A Book of Nonet Poems and had participants start writing a nonet. Here’s Irene’s poetic instructions for writing a nonet:

©Irene Latham

Irene gave examples of the first words she used in the nonets in her book, as well as a list of other powerful words to inspire our writing. Leap and hop were two of the words, and my brain leaped and hopped to Peep, which has been the noisiest sound around my house for the last month. Here’s my nonet:

and louder–
sound surrounds you.
Daylight fades to dusk.
You search from pond to shore
but no frog is visible
in the mucky, marshy shadows.
–©Buffy Silverman

I’ve spent many hours with peeps echoing around me without being able to locate the singer. While I’m busy not finding spring peepers, sometimes I catch sight of other treasures like this muskrat and wood duck!

Speaking of treasures, be sure to find your way to Reading to the Core, where Catherine has this week’s Poetry Friday round-up.

13 thoughts on “Jeepers, Creepers…

  1. How lucky you were to spot that muskrat and wood duck! I have never seen a peeper, either, despite being surrounded by ponds full of them. I love your nonet, especially those “mucky, marshy shadows.” Irene is such an inspiration. I wasn’t able to watch her presentation, so thank you for sharing the link!

  2. This sounds like a form I’d like to try some time! Love your photos of the wild creatures. On our walks lately, we’re seeing birds gather nesting material, and have already seen some baby ducklings, but we haven’t seen the frogs emerge from hibernation yet. I keep looking at the pond, trying to spy eggs and tadpoles.

  3. I love sound surrounds you. I’ve tried to sneak up on peepers but they all seem to go silent all at once when they sense I’m coming near.

  4. I’m beginning to love nonets! Thanks for these…and the photos… muskrats and wood ducks would make my day!

  5. What fun to have a ‘nonet’ gathering, Buffy. I love your own “Peep!” nonet, wishing I could hear them. I had the joy of hearing those peepers once on a trip with students to upper NY state. They are not so prolific here in CO.

  6. What fun the nonet nonsense & nuts & bolts must have been with Irene, along with all the other Fay B. Kaigler frolic!

    I too have appreciated a nourishing Irene Latham workshop on nonets & the result is I’ve got one in polish phase, to enter into the Florida State Poetry Association’s contest soon.

    Your workshop nonet is peep-ticularly perfect!

    Happy Poetry Month Buffy!!


  7. oooooh! look at that muskrat! What a great find for your camera lens. We have them in a local pond here but it’s rare that I get to see one. Love that you used a nonet for a peeper poem. I’m sure each frog makes at LEAST nine peeps in a breath. I love them…but also, have never seen one.

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