Technically, summer doesn't end until September 22 (a Friday this year), but TBH the second half of August always kind of feels like things are winding down (shakes a fist at school for hardwiring the academic calendar into my cells). Beaches and pools start to close, along with seasonal shacks and ice cream spots and roadside farm stands. Plus, why is that when you're wearing long-sleeves, your job just seems... jobbier?
Fear not, summer-lovers, there's an easy way to keep the vernal spirit alive, and that's by reading poems.
I know I've been talking about "summer" the noun, but these poems celebrate the idea of "summer," the verb, as in "pass the summer in a particular place." No, these poems don't necessarily demand you be familiar with the Wisconsin Dells or the Cape or the Hamptons or any other legendary summer destinations. What they do demand, though, is that you let yourself experience summer as a state of mind, summer as a state of being, summer as a mood you can summon with a few lines or stanzas. Summer on the page.
Ready to be transported by some truly summerific lines? Give these seven poems a read and forget everything your calendar tells you. If you want summer, it can be here to stay.
"Summer Haibun" by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
There are not enough jam
jars to can this summer sky at night. I want to spread those little
meteors on a hunk of still-warm bread this winter.
"Still Life with Invisible Canoe" by Idra Novey
It is noon in the living room
We are rowing through a blue
That is a feeling mostly
"Summer in Winter in Summer" by Noah Eli Gordon
The bottom teeth of summer
in winter chattering: here’s the moon. Here’s the moon
splashed over two dozen calendars.
"Accidental Pastoral" by Maggie Smith
I am not a parade, my one car passing
through Centerburg, Ohio, too late.
The chairs are empty. The children
are unwrapping golden butterscotches
"Choke" by Eileen Myles
You are too intact
the dappled sunlight on the lawn
or pots of darkness
like salt instead of depths
"A Boat, Beneath a Sunny Sky" by Lewis Carroll
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream—
Lingering in the golden gleam—
Life, what is it but a dream?
"Fall Parties" by Becca Klaver
you were supposed to save us
from spring but everyone just slumped