Poetry Friday: In Summer Time

Poetry Friday: In Summer Time

poetry friday logo

It’s Poetry Friday! Katie is hosting at The Logonauts!

Many people love summertime. Alas, until I live somewhere cooler, I fear it will not be my favorite season. While hiding in the air-conditioned haven of home, I wish I felt about summer the way Paul Laurence Dunbar did in the poem I’m sharing today. (I recall feeling this way while traveling one June in Oregon and Washington, ah, the pleasant memories!)

This public domain poem was copied from the Academy of American Poets website.

The photo is by Jim Champion [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In Summer Time

Paul Laurence Dunbar, 18721906

When summer time has come, and all
The world is in the magic thrall
Of perfumed airs that lull each sense
To fits of drowsy indolence;
When skies are deepest blue above,
And flow’rs aflush,—then most I love
To start, while early dews are damp,
And wend my way in woodland tramp
Where forests rustle, tree on tree,
And sing their silent songs to me;
Where pathways meet and pathways part,—
To walk with Nature heart by heart,
Till wearied out at last I lie
Where some sweet stream steals singing by
A mossy bank; where violets vie
In color with the summer sky,—
Or take my rod and line and hook,
And wander to some darkling brook,
Where all day long the willows dream,
And idly droop to kiss the stream,
And there to loll from morn till night—
Unheeding nibble, run, or bite—
Just for the joy of being there
And drinking in the summer air,
The summer sounds, and summer sights,
That set a restless mind to rights
When grief and pain and raging doubt
Of men and creeds have worn it out;
The birds’ song and the water’s drone,
The humming bee’s low monotone,
The murmur of the passing breeze,
And all the sounds akin to these,
That make a man in summer time
Feel only fit for rest and rhyme.
Joy springs all radiant in my breast;
Though pauper poor, than king more blest,
The tide beats in my soul so strong
That happiness breaks forth in song,
And rings aloud the welkin blue
With all the songs I ever knew.
O time of rapture! time of song!
How swiftly glide thy days along
Adown the current of the years,
Above the rocks of grief and tears!
‘Tis wealth enough of joy for me
In summer time to simply be.

 

7 Replies to “Poetry Friday: In Summer Time”

  1. Our air-conditioner broke on Wednesday and we went about 24 hours without A/C, during which time I went from being cranky to becoming slothlike. It’s nice to read a rapturous view of summer. I like “Make a man in summer time/Feel only fit for rest and rhyme.” 🙂

  2. I love summer, when the temps stay in the 80s. I visited Palm Springs once in summer – 120 in the shade. Time to pant like a puppy, preferring a fan to moving. I like the poem, it brings out all the best of summer. Time “to simply be.” Those things don’t change.

  3. We have a heat wave going on, and summer doldrums are not supposed to be here till August! I do enjoy his love for summer, Keri, and perhaps it is the nicest thing in this troubled time to be in nature, “The summer sounds, and summer sights,
    That set a restless mind to rights
    When grief and pain and raging doubt
    Of men and creeds have worn it out;” Thank you, and hoping your AC keeps working!

  4. I’m with you, Keri, summer is not my favorite season since moving to Tucson. (except for the fact that the city empties out which is nice). Dunbar captures the summertime feeling I long to have though:
    “Just for the joy of being there
    And drinking in the summer air”
    If I “drink in the summer air” here, I’d burn my lungs. Ha! Thanks for sharing! =)

  5. And wander to some darkling brook,
    Where all day long the willows dream,
    And idly droop to kiss the stream,
    And there to loll from morn till night—
    Unheeding nibble, run, or bite—
    Just for the joy of being there
    And drinking in the summer air,–

    YES (although I do not get fishing)–the wandering, darkling, drooping and lolling, the drinking–these are what I love about summer, even the hottest days. Thanks for this dose of PLDunbar!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *