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Poem Sampler

Summer Poems

Poems to make you one with the sun.
Illustration: Mark McGinnis

Summer Days


Morningside Heights, July by William Matthews
Haze. Three student violists boarding
a bus. A clatter of jackhammers.

To Go to Lvov by Adam Zagajewski
To go to Lvov. Which station
for Lvov, if not in a dream, at dawn, when dew

The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin
At first, I didn’t notice what a noise
   The weddings made
Each station that we stopped at

On the Move by Thom Gunn
On motorcycles, up the road, they come:
Small, black, as flies hanging in heat, the Boys

Sumer is I-cumin in by Anonymous
Sing, cuccu, nu. Sing, cuccu.
Sing, cuccu. Sing, cuccu, nu.

Bath by Amy Lowell
The day is fresh-washed and fair, and there is a smell of tulips and narcissus in the air.



For Children

The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson
How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?

Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost
Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,

Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.


Summer in Nature

Country Summer by Léonie Adams
Now the rich cherry, whose sleek wood,
And top with silver petals traced

At Noon by Reginald Gibbons
The thick-walled room’s cave-darkness,
cool in summer, soothes

Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout by Gary Snyder
Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain

More Than Enough by Marge Piercy
The first lily of June opens its red mouth.
All over the sand road where we walk

Insect Life of Florida by Lynda Hull
In those days I thought their endless thrum
   was the great wheel that turned the days, the nights.

One With The Sun by A.F. Moritz
one with the sun

In the Mushroom Summer by David Mason
Colorado turns Kyoto in a shower,
mist in the pines so thick the crows delight

The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;



Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.

First Girls in Little League Baseball by J. Patrick Lewis
Now what you hear, as flags unfurl,
Is "Atta boy!" and "Atta girl!"

The crowd at the ball game by William Carlos Williams
The crowd at the ball game
is moved uniformly

Clothespins by Stuart Dybek
I once hit clothespins  
for the Chicago Cubs.  

Baseball by Gail Mazur
The game of baseball is not a metaphor  
and I know it’s not really life.   


Summer Nights

Moths by Jennifer O'Grady
Adrift in the liberating, late light
of August, delicate, frivolous

Summer at North Farm by Stephen Kuusisto
Fires, always fires after midnight,
the sun depending in the purple birches

Jet by Tony Hoagland
Sometimes I wish I were still out
on the back porch, drinking jet fuel

Midsummer by Robert Fitzgerald
The adolescent night, breath of the town,
Porchswings and whispers, maple leaves unseen

The Mower to the Glow-Worms by Andrew Marvell
Ye living lamps, by whose dear light
The nightingale does sit so late



In Defense of Our Overgrown Garden by Matthea Harvey
Last night the apple trees shook and gave each lettuce a heart
Six hard red apples broke through the greenhouse glass and

The Fact of the Garden by Minnie Bruce Pratt
With this rain I am satisfied we will be together
in the spring. Seeds of water on my window glass

Paths by John Montague
We had two gardens.
A real flower garden

The Definition of Gardening by James Tate
Jim just loves to garden, yes he does.
He likes nothing better than to put on

Vespers [In your extended absence, you permit me] by Louise Glück
In your extended absence, you permit me
use of earth, anticipating

Early Cascade by Lucia Perillo
I couldn't have waited. By the time you return
it would have rotted on the vine.

Planting the Meadow by Mary Makofske
I leave the formal garden of schedules
where hours hedge me, clip the errant sprigs

Mowing by Robert Wrigley
Sleepy and suburban at dusk,
I learn again the yard’s

In These Soft Trinities by Patricia Goedicke
Whenever I see two women
       crowned, constellated friends



The Butterfly’s Dream by Hannah F. Gould
A tulip, just opened, had offered to hold
   A butterfly, gaudy and gay;

The Children by Mark Jarman
The children are hiding among the raspberry canes.
They look big to one another, the garden small.


End of the Summer

Three Songs at the End of Summer by Jane Kenyon
A second crop of hay lies cut
and turned. Five gleaming crows

Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney
Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.

Last August Hours Before the Year 2000 by Naomi Shihab Nye
Spun silk of mercy,
long-limbed afternoon

Bright Leaf by Ellen Bryant Voigt
Like words put to a song, the bunched tobacco leaves  
are strung along a stick, the women

A Dirge by Christina Rossetti
Why were you born when the snow was falling?
You should have come to the cuckoo’s calling

Poem Sampler

Summer Poems

Poems to make you one with the sun.

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