Welcoming July 2017

Welcome, Warm and Wonderful July

In the words of one writer, ”July is the seventh month of the year according to the Gregorian calendar.  It was the fifth month in the early calendar of the ancient Romans.  The Romans called the month Quintilius, which means fifth.  A Roman Senate renamed the month to Julius (July) in honour of Julius Caesar, who was born on 12 July.  The Anglo-Saxon names for the month included ‘Heymonath’ or ‘Maed monath’, referring respectively to haymaking and the flowering of meadows.”

Musings in July: James Russell Lowell

“The dandelions and buttercups gild all the lawn: the drowsy bee stumbles among the clover tops, and summer sweetens all to me.”

Art for July – Violet Common: “A Garden in July”

Musings in July: Wallace Stevens

“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.”

Art for July – James Tissot: “July (Specimen of a portrait)”

A Poem for July

“Answer July -“
By Emily Dickinson

Answer July—
Where is the Bee—
Where is the Blush—
Where is the Hay?

Ah, said July—
Where is the Seed—
Where is the Bud—
Where is the May—
Answer Thee—Me—

Nay—said the May—
Show me the Snow—
Show me the Bells—
Show me the Jay!

Quibbled the Jay—
Where be the Maize—
Where be the Haze—
Where be the Bur?
Here—said the Year—

Below – Lautir (Italian, contemporary): “Emily Dickinson”

Art for July – Edward Henry Potthast: “A July Day”

Musings in July: Sam Keen

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”

Art for July – Vincent van Gogh: “A Woman Walking in a Garden”

A Second Poem for July

“Praise in Summer”
By Richard Wilbur

Obscurely yet most surely called to praise,
As sometimes summer calls us all, I said
The hills are heavens full of branching ways
Where star-nosed moles fly overhead the dead;
I said the trees are mines in air, I said
See how the sparrow burrows in the sky!
And then I wondered why this mad instead
Perverts our praise to uncreation, why
Such savour’s in this wrenching things awry.
Does sense so stale that it must needs derange
The world to know it? To a praiseful eye
Should it not be enough of fresh and strange
That trees grow green, and moles can course in clay,
And sparrows sweep the ceiling of our day?

Below – Laura Trevey: “Praise in Summer”

Art for July – Frank Weston Benson: ‘Summer”

Musings in July: Francis Thompson

“The Summer looks out from her brazen tower,
Through the flashing bars of July.”

Art for July – Monique Straub: “Summer Vacation”

A Third Poem for July

“I know I am but summer to your heart (Sonnet XXVII)”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell
Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing;
And I have loved you all too long and well
To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring.
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime.

Below – Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Art for July – Qu Ding: “Summer Mountains”

Musings in July: Rachel Peden

“The serene philosophy of the pink rose is steadying.  Its fragrant, delicate petals open fully and are ready to fall, without regret or disillusion, after only a day in the sun.  It is so every summer.  One can almost hear their pink, fragrant murmur as they settle down upon the grass: ‘Summer, summer, it will always be summer.'”

Art for July – Jack Vettriano: “Mad Dogs”

Musings in July: Ada Louise Huxtable

“Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.”

Art for July – Frederick Childe Hassam: “July Night”

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