Summer solstice, AKA midsummer, is behind us, which means you're probably making lots of time for beach days — and, if you're not, you should be! If you've found yourself inside one too many weekends, now is the time to make sure you prioritize some lazy, easy, solo or with pals sand time. The pleasures are manifold: connecting with nature, chilling with friends, the grit of salt or sand or silt in your hair, the time to work on your tan, and, of course, the opportunity to hangout in a reclined pose. (Seriously, shouldn't we have more activities that can be completed lying down?) And if there's any activity that makes a perfect beach day companion, you know it's reading.
There's only one drawback to reading on the beach: the sun can make you tired. What to do? Read poems, of course. In truth, I think they're kind of meant for beach reading. You can drift in and out of a book of them; they don't require you to hold a plot in your head; they'll forgive you if you stop in the middle of a line to go catch a wave.
These seven will help you take your beach day to the next level.
1. "On the Beach at Night Alone" by Walt Whitman
On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of
the universes, and of the future.
2. "A Few Lines from Rehoboth Beach" by Fleda Brown
Dear friend, you were right: the smell of fish and foam
and algae makes one green smell together. It clears
my head. It empties me
3. "Beach Glass" by Amy Clampitt
While you walk the water’s edge,
turning over concepts
I can’t envision, the honking buoy
serves notice that at any time
the wind may change
4. "Mercury Rising (A Visualization)" by Jena Osman
there will be three parts.
pay attention to your breath.
in through your nose,
out through your mouth.
5. "Beach Walk" by Henri Cole
Later, I saw a boy,
aroused and elated, beckoning from a dune.
Like me, he was alone. Something tumbled between us—
not quite emotion.
6. "Bolivia" by Gwen Head
I hate the sea. I’ve always hated water
even as a baby, even in my bath,
or so my mama says. She likes it, herself.
She goes in the sea like a mermaid, and comes out
a monster, rubber fins slimy with eelgrass.
7. "Mercy Beach" by Kamilah Aisha Moon
Stony trails of jagged beauty rise
like stretch marks streaking sand-hips.
All the Earth has borne beguiles us
& battered bodies build our acres.