Carl Little is not only an accomplished poet but a widely published author of books about the painters of Maine. In today’s column, he describes how peepers “fling their music” during early spring. Note how his poem flings its own joyful music across line breaks and stanza divisions.


Zones of Peeper

By Carl Little

Driving home from a party, parsing

conversations, car windows down


to greet first real summer heat,

we pass through zones of peeper-


not song, not chorus, though

scientists no doubt find pattern

in the high-pitched whatever it is.


Nor peep, which reminds you of


silly chicks falling over each other

in an incubator. Every moist venue

between Pretty Marsh and Somesville,

every hundred yards brings



this antic singing, somewhat

alien in tone, magical too,

like fireflies but auditory,

not synthesized but a perfect



cacophony of the higher ranges,

tiny frogs doing their spring thing,

flinging music into dank milieu

of pond edge and marsh, inspiring


a certain joy in our recap of the evening


as if every fault could be forgiven

when you consider the rest of the world

wild and wet and flipping out.



Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2009 by Carl Little. Reprinted from Down East Magazine, March 19, 2009, by permission of Down East. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, special assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at or 228-8263.


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