Nonet: Trees

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a fantastic breakout session that was part of the 2021 Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi.  The session, with poets Irene Latham, Vikram Madan, and Laura Purdie Salas, was entitled Word-Joy: Experience the Transformative Power of Poetry.

It was a fantastic workshop, filled with plenty of material that I’ll put to use in my classroom very soon. Many thanks to Irene, Vikram, and Laura!

One of the forms I was introduced to today (thank you again, Irene) is called a nonet.  Nine lines, the first with one syllable, the second with two, and so on until the final with nine.  Sometimes the poem starts with the longest line and ends with the shortest.

Here’s one of the few that I wrote yesterday.


tall and strong
with leaves blowing
and branches swaying.
As the spring months go by
and the summer days approach
I look forward to the long walks
the time spent beneath their canopies.

7 thoughts on “Nonet: Trees”

  1. I was there, too, Tim and it was a wonderful session! Bravo on your nonet poem. I have been thinking about trees a lot of late, maybe it is their new blossoms so late to arrive where we live, but also I have been sharing about a book that was honored by NCTE at the 2019 convention in Baltimore: In addition the hemlocks in our area are on the verge of a serious attack by the hemlock wooly adelgid (beetle?) they would kill them in 4 -10 years and destroy the watershed around our Finger Lakes here in NY. We are near Cornell Univ. so they have been studying this for a few years now and it is in our newspapers. The other is the emerald ash borer which killed an ash in our next door neighbor’s yard. Awful. So trees mean so much and poems that honor them are truly important. Champion about the American Chestnut tree. I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments, Janet. For so many people, it seems strange to acknowledge that trees are “under attack” from things like insects and even climate, but that’s the case. I hope things end well, but I know that they won’t in a lot of areas.


  2. Tim, bravo! I love tree poems! Beautiful to include “long walks,” and I adore “canopies” at the end. So glad you were able to come to the session. Please write more nonets!


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