5 Poems To Get You Into The Spirit Of Summer

by Michelle Regalado

June 21 is officially the first day of summer, also known as the Summer Solstice. Today holds symbolic importance, as it marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and the point after which the sun starts rising later and setting earlier. So to celebrate, I've rounded up the best first day of summer poems I could find.

The solstice has been celebrated for its astronomical significance all over the world for hundreds of years. There are plenty of different ways to ring in the occasion, from performing some sun salutations to partying with thousands of other revelers at Stonehenge. But why not start off the celebration with something simple and easy, like reading a little seasonally themed poetry?

These five famous summer poems, written by legendary writers like Emily Dickinson and William Shakespeare, perfectly capture the long, lazy days and warm breezy nights associated with the summer season. So before you head out to enjoy that lovely sunshine today, check out some of their works. These beautiful poems are guaranteed to not only get you into the spirit of the solstice, but also remind you (as if you didn’t already know) that there’s no season quite like summer.

Read them below, and enjoy the kick-off to the season. Oh, and happy summer!

1. "In the Summer" — Nizar Qabbani

In the summer I stretch out on the shore And think of you Had I told the sea What I felt for you, It would have left its shores, Its shells, Its fish, And followed me

2. "Summer in the South" — Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Oriole sings in the greening grove As if he were half-way waiting, The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green, Timid, and hesitating. The rain comes down in a torrent sweep And the nights smell warm and pinety, The garden thrives, but the tender shoots Are yellow-green and tiny. Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill, Streams laugh that erst were quiet, The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue And the woods run mad with riot.

3. "A Something In A Summer's Day" — Emily Dickinson

A something in a summer's DayAs slow her flambeaux burn awayWhich solemnizes me.

A something in a summer's noon— A depth—an Azure—a perfume— Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer's night A something so transporting bright I clap my hands to see— Then veil my too inspecting face Lets such a subtle—shimmering grace Flutter too far for me— The wizard fingers never rest— The purple brook within the breast Still chafes it narrow bed— Still rears the East her amber Flag— Guides still the sun along the Crag His Caravan of Red— So looking on—the night—the morn Conclude the wonder gay— And I meet, coming thro' the dews Another summer's Day!

4. Sonnet 18 — William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm’d; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d; But thy eternal summer shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

5. "Moonlight, Summer Moonlight" — Emily Jane Bronte

'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,

All soft and still and fair; The solemn hour of midnight Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere, But most where trees are sending Their breezy boughs on high, Or stooping low are lending A shelter from the sky. And there in those wild bowers A lovely form is laid; Green grass and dew-steeped flowers Wave gently round her head.Images: Thomas, nataliasynyster; barkbud; enneafive; giuseppemilo; eschipul/Flickr