Summer Poems

A Collection of Classic and New Poems for the Season

Woman reading on lounge chair at poolside overlooking ocean
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Our anthology of poems for the summer season begins with a selection of classics:

  • Li Po,
    “In the Mountains on a Summer Day” (c. 950, trans. Arthur Waley, 1919)
  • Anonymous medieval lyric (usually sung as a round),
    “Sumer Is Icumen In” (c. 1250)
  • Thomas Nashe,
    “Fair Summer Droops,” from Summer’s Last Will and Testament (1600)
  • William Shakespeare,
    Sonnet 18 - “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” (1609)
  • Alexander Pope,
    “Summer,” from The Second Pastoral (1709)
  • William Blake,
    “To Summer,” from Poetical Sketches (1783)
  • William Blake,
    The Schoolboy,” from Songs of Experience (1794)
  • John Clare,
    “Summer Images” (1835)
  • Henry David Thoreau,
    “The Summer Rain” (1842)
  • William Wordsworth,
    “The Prelude, or, Growth of a Poet’s Mind, an Autobiographical Poem” - Book 4, Summer Vacation (1850)
  • John Greenleaf Whittier,
    “The Barefoot Boy” (1855)
  • John Clare,
    “Summer” (1865)
  • Walt Whitman,
    “Warble for Lilac-Time” (1871)
  • Walt Whitman,
    “A Summer Invocation” (1881)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson,
    “Summer Sun” from A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885)
  • Emily Dickinson,
    “A something in a summer’s day” (#122)
  • Emily Dickinson,
    A Drop Fell on the Apple Tree —” (#794)
  • Emily Dickinson,
    “Summer — we all have seen —” (#1386)
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar,
    “In Summer” (1899)
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar,
    “Summer in the South” (1903)
  • James Russell Lowell,
    Prelude to Part First, The Vision of Sir Launfal” (1908)
  • Amy Lowell,
    “Summer” (1912)
  • Carl Sandburg,
    “Back Yard” (1916)
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins,
    “Epithalamion” (1918)
  • Edgar A. Guest,
    “A Boy and His Dad” (1921)
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay,
    I know I am but summer to your heart” (1922)

To which we’ve added a few of the poems on summer themes we’ve received from contemporary poets:

  • Ken Blackburn, “Joy Is Measured”
  • Ross Clark, “Just After Rain”
  • Dorothea Grossman, “Summer: Three Ways”
  • Jim Gustafson, “Dry Summer”
  • Heather Haley, “Habitat
  • Mary Hamrick, “Hot Summer Nights”
  • Dale Harris, “Red Grain Moon
  • Wayne Jarus, “Sweet Summer”
  • Christine Klocek-Lim, “Cicadas”
  • Marcia LeBeau, “Night Swims”
  • J. Patrick Lewis, “Firefly July”
  • Joseph Pacheco, “Dejection on a Florida Summer Afternoon
  • Jack Peachum, “Cottonwood Summer”
  • Jack Peachum, “Julep Season”
  • Robert Savino, “Idle Seesaw”
  • Lisa Shields, “Wisteria Woman”

Enjoy these poems of the season!