Bidding Farewell To Summer
Below – Sherry Xiaohong Chen: “The End of Summer”
Art for the End of Summer – Tanja Vetter: “End of summer III”
Musings at the End of Summer: Sarah Helen Whitman
“When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and, like a dream, glides away.”
A Poem for the End of Summer
“The Summer’s End”
by Pat A. Fleming
The familiar rhythm of the cricket’s chirps
Create the soundtrack for each day,
Echoing Summer’s end
And that Autumn’s on her way.
The stifling heat of the summer sun
Is now tempered by the clouds.
Those fluffy, cotton August clouds,
That soft breezes push about.
Shadows falling everywhere
As the sun plays peek-a-boo.
Losing her strength with each new day,
A sure sign that Summer is through.
As the lazy, care-free summer days,
Reluctantly draw to an end.
Excitement grows for what’s ahead,
As school days and the Fall begin.
And no matter how the years may pass,
And how old I come to be,
I’ll always love this time of year,
As it holds such fond memories
Of sitting with my childhood friends,
Recalling all our fun
While running, swimming and riding bikes
Beneath the summer sun.
And sharing all our hopes and dreams
As the future stirs us on.
Knowing as we sit on that late, August eve,
Summer’s ending, but her memory lives on.
But there’s also a haunting sadness sometimes
That I feel when those dark shadows fall.
And that my greatest adventures in life
Are just memories, now aroused by those sweet cricket calls.
Below – Emma Champion: “left alone with the memories” (photograph)
Musings at the End of Summer: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Gone are the birds that were our summer guests.”
“End of Summer”
by Stanley Kunitz
An agitation of the air,
A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.
I stood in the disenchanted field
Amid the stubble and the stones,
Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me
The song of my marrow-bones.
Blue poured into summer blue,
A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,
The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew
That part of my life was over.
Already the iron door of the north
Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows
Order their populations forth,
And a cruel wind blows.
Art for the End of Summer – Antonia Rusu: “End of Summer”
This Date in Literary History: Born 21 September 1947 – Marsha Norman, an American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
Some quotes from the work of Marsha Norman:
“Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.”
“There are things that music can do that language could never do, that painting could never do, or sculpture. Music is capable of going directly to the source of the mystery. It doesn’t have to explain it. It can simply celebrate it.”
“We are not afraid to look under the bed, or to wash the sheets; we know that life is messy. We know that somebody has to clean it up, and that only if it is cleaned up can we hope to start over, and get better.”
“Art is how a culture records its life, how it poses questions for the next generation and how it will be remembered.”
“During the day, our souls gather their … impressions of us, how our lives feel. … Our spirits collect these impressions, keep them together, like wisps of smoke in a bag. Then, when we’re asleep, our brains open up these bags of smoke … and take a look.”
“Family is just accident…. They don’t mean to get on your nerves. They don’t even mean to be your family, they just are.”
“There is no point in trying to remember your dreams … There is only the unspeakable joy of eavesdropping on your spirit, catching tiny glimpses of its independent life, resting for a moment in its wisdom, puzzling, laughing sometimes, over what it’s up to, what it makes of you.”
Musings at the End of Summer: Oscar Wilde
“…and all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”
“As imperceptibly as Grief”
by Emily Dickinson
As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away—
Too imperceptible at last
To seem like Perfidy—
A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
The Dusk drew earlier in—
The Morning foreign shone—
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, that would be gone—
And thus, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape
Into the Beautiful.
Musings at the End of Summer: Sebastian Faulks
“The end-of-summer winds make people restless.”
Below – Isabelle Schenckbecher-Quint: “summer wind 2”
A Poem for the End of Summer
“The End of Summer”
by Rachel Hadas
Sweet smell of phlox drifting across the lawn—
an early warning of the end of summer.
August is fading fast, and by September
the little purple flowers will all be gone.
Season, project, and vacation done.
One more year in everybody’s life.
Add a notch to the old hunting knife
Time keeps testing with a horny thumb.
Over the summer months hung an unspoken
aura of urgency. In late July
galactic pulsings filled the midnight sky
like silent screaming, so that, strangely woken,
we looked at one another in the dark,
then at the milky magical debris
arcing across, dwarfing our meek mortality.
There were two ways to live: get on with work,
redeem the time, ignore the imminence
of cataclysm; or else take it slow,
be as tranquil as the neighbors’ cow
we love to tickle through the barbed wire fence
(she paces through her days in massive innocence,
or, seeing green pastures, we imagine so).
In fact, not being cows, we have no choice.
Summer or winter, country, city, we
are prisoners from the start and automatically,
hemmed in, harangued by the one clamorous voice.
Not light but language shocks us out of sleep
ideas of doom transformed to meteors
we translate back to portents of the wars
looming above the nervous watch we keep.
Below – Amy Bernays: “Impending Doom”
This Date in Literary History: Born 21 September 1945 – Kay Ryan, an American poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
“The Edges of Time”
by Kay Ryan
It is at the edges
Time which had been
dense and viscous
as amber suspending
intentions like bees
unseizes them. A
from stacks of
put-off things or
just in back. A
of claims now,
as time flattens. A
glittering fan of things
competing to happen,
brilliant and urgent
as fish when seas
Musings at the End of Summer: George R.R. Martin
“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”
Below – Gennaro Santaniello: “The End of Summer”
“Three Songs at the End of Summer”
by Jane Kenyon
A second crop of hay lies cut
and turned. Five gleaming crows
search and peck between the rows.
They make a low, companionable squawk,
and like midwives and undertakers
possess a weird authority.
Crickets leap from the stubble,
parting before me like the Red Sea.
The garden sprawls and spoils.
Across the lake the campers have learned
to water ski. They have, or they haven’t.
Sounds of the instructor’s megaphone
suffuse the hazy air. “Relax! Relax!”
Cloud shadows rush over drying hay,
fences, dusty lane, and railroad ravine.
The first yellowing fronds of goldenrod
brighten the margins of the woods.
Schoolbooks, carpools, pleated skirts;
water, silver-still, and a vee of geese.
The cicada’s dry monotony breaks
over me. The days are bright
and free, bright and free.
Then why did I cry today
for an hour, with my whole
body, the way babies cry?
A white, indifferent morning sky,
and a crow, hectoring from its nest
high in the hemlock, a nest as big
as a laundry basket …
In my childhood
I stood under a dripping oak,
while autumnal fog eddied around my feet,
waiting for the school bus
with a dread that took my breath away.
The damp dirt road gave off
this same complex organic scent.
I had the new books—words, numbers,
and operations with numbers I did not
comprehend—and crayons, unspoiled
by use, in a blue canvas satchel
with red leather straps.
Spruce, inadequate, and alien
I stood at the side of the road.
It was the only life I had.
Below – Liu Chenyang: “Sing a song, waiting for the sunset”
Musings at the End of Summer: William Shakespeare
“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
A Poem for the End of Summer
“XXXIX” (from “Last Poems”)
by AE Housman
When summer’s end is nighing
And skies at evening cloud,
I muse on change and fortune
And all the feats I vowed
When I was young and proud.
The weathercock at sunset
Would lose the slanted ray,
And I would climb the beacon
That looked to Wales away
And saw the last of day.
From hill and cloud and heaven
The hues of evening died;
Night welled through lane and hollow
And hushed the countryside,
But I had youth and pride.
And I with earth and nightfall
In converse high would stand,
Late, till the west was ashen
And darkness hard at hand,
And the eye lost the land.
The year might age, and cloudy
The lessening day might close,
But air of other summers
Breathed from beyond the snows,
And I had hope of those.
They came and were and are not
And come no more anew;
And all the years and seasons
That ever can ensue
Must now be worse and few.
So here’s an end of roaming
On eves when autumn nighs:
The ear too fondly listens
For summer’s parting sighs,
And then the heart replies.
Art for the End of Summer – Martine Chasse: “Saisir l’instant”
Goodbye, Wonderful Summer
Below – Daniel Friend: “Last swim at the end of summer” (photograph)