15 Poems To Read Online Right Now If You Have The Summer Blues

Jovo Jovanovic/Stocksy

Summertime doesn't normally bring to mind periods of depression and anxiety, so when you get the blues during the hottest time of the year, it can throw you for a loop. Not to worry, though. I've picked out 15 poems you can read during your summer blues, and they're all on the list below.

I hate the summer, probably because I live in the South. It's hot and muggy, the beach and the mountains are hours away, and you're lucky if your home's air conditioning can compete with the sweltering heat outside. I stay miserable in the summer, and being too hot and sick to be productive really does a number on my mental health. I know I'm not alone: Seasonal Affective Disorder affects people in the summer, too.

You can catch the summer blues for a variety of reasons, and the poems I've picked out below tackle everything from generalized grief and woe to specific losses of power. Some use humor, and some are feel-good party anthems that will get you pumped up and ready to tackle whatever the back half of this year has to throw at you.

Read the 15 poems that I think will help your summer blues below:

'On the Pulse of Morning' by Maya Angelou

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"You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.
The Rock cries out to us today, you may stand upon me,
But do not hide your face."

Read the poem in full here.

'A Summer Garden' by Louise Glück

"I wiped the dust from my mother’s face.
Indeed, dust covered everything; it seemed to me the persistent
haze of nostalgia that protects all relics of childhood.
In the background, an assortment of park furniture, trees and shrubbery."

Read the poem in full here.

'Washing the World' by Anna Maria Sewell

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"love lost, wrong words, wrong actions
unbalanced moments and all the cracks between heart
and heart, parent and child
lover and beloved friend, nation and nation
creature, and creature of another kind"

Read the poem in full here.

'Remnants of the Goddess' by Vandana Khanna

"Let them come for what’s left:
a chorus of bone, river and soot.
Worthy enough. Holy enough."

Read the poem in full here.

'Sedition — a letter to the writer from Meri Mangakāhia' by Anahera Gildea

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"Eh. But this world.
I s’pose neither of us planned to be in politics,
never did do what others told us to — 
wahanui though, go on, get"

Read the poem in full here.

'Ode to Enclaves' by Chrysanthemum Tran

"Before my people built this Little Saigon,
white flight to the suburbs sucked
this city’s economy down to its marrow."

Read the poem in full here.

'Cardi B Tells Me about Myself' by Eboni Hogan

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"But just cuz they name a thing a thing,
don’t mean it ain’t still named God
in some other language."

Read the poem in full here.

'Taking My Name Back' by Francine Hendrickson

"Francine is not here to be pretty, or pleasant. Francine is not some field of daises, Francine is not even rain water. Francine is some spit in the sink after a fist fight."

Read the poem in full here.

'Break' by Aracelis Girmay

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"When the boys are carnivals
we gather round them in the dark room
& they make their noise while drums
ricochet against their bodies & thin air"

Read the poem in full here.

'Before the Last Dance' by Ryka Aoki de la Cruz

"My lover took 48 years
to put on a lipstick and dress,
and for the rest of his life
will know what it means
to be beautiful. Believe."

Read the poem in full here.

'So Much Happiness' by Naomi Shihab Nye

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"Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way."

Read the poem in full here.

'A Blessing' by Luci Tapahonso

"This morning we gather in gratitude for all aspects of sacredness:
the air, the warmth of fire, bodies of water, plants, the land,
and all animals and humankind."

Read the poem in full here.

'Four-Leaf Clover' by Ella Higginson

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"I know a place where the sun is like gold,
And the cherry blooms burst with snow,
And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
Where the four-leaf clovers grow."

Read the poem in full here.

'little prayer' by Danez Smith

"let ruin end here

let him find honey
where there was once a slaughter"

Read the poem in full here.

'Virginia Street' by Jennifer Hayashida

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"Another starry tree, coastal
counterpoint where magnolia is
a brighter season"

Read the poem in full here.