A Dream of Summer: Poems for a Sensuous Season

Overview

In summer, as Mary Oliver writes: "There are satisfactions beyond number; fishermen get their catch, the food is delicious and real, the sail has just enough wind; the children, in the country at least, play riotously and can hardly be persuaded to remember the necessity of sleep, even when the fireflies are blinking as high as their bedroom windows. Also, the heat makes of neighborhood a genuine thing, people are out on lawns or porches; they are exhausted, happy, beneficent, less ambitious than in any other ...
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Overview

In summer, as Mary Oliver writes: "There are satisfactions beyond number; fishermen get their catch, the food is delicious and real, the sail has just enough wind; the children, in the country at least, play riotously and can hardly be persuaded to remember the necessity of sleep, even when the fireflies are blinking as high as their bedroom windows. Also, the heat makes of neighborhood a genuine thing, people are out on lawns or porches; they are exhausted, happy, beneficent, less ambitious than in any other season, and they are full of the beautiful cloudy stuff of dreams."

A Dream of Summer assembles thirty-seven evocative poems on the experience and joy of summertime. Illustrated throughout with pen-and-ink drawings, this volume focuses on the sensuality of summertime and the varieties of summer experience. It is a love letter to the sultry heat, crashing thunderstorms, endless days, and short, mild nights. Gathered here is work by illustrious poets of the past, among them William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, John Keats, and Alfred Lord Tennyson, as well as more contemporary artists like Louise Gluck, Yusef Komunyakaa, Marge Piercy, and Charles Simic.

Renowned poet Mary Oliver contributes an introduction, musing on this most enchanted and favored of seasons. Other contributors include Sharan Strange, Galway Kinnell, May Sarton, Robert Frost, Louise Bogan, Wallace Stevens, Denise Levertov, Robert Hayden, Derek Walcott, Marge Piercy, and many more. Biographical notes by editor Robert Atwan offer brief lives of each of the poets included in the volume.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807068724
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 6/15/2004
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 7.52 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT ATWAN has been the series editor of The Best American Essays since its inception in 1986. He has edited numerous literary anthologies and written essays and reviews for periodicals nationwide.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : the beautiful cloudy stuff of dreams 7
Summer music 13
Solstice 14
June bracken and heather 15
Pear tree 17
Days 18
While I am writing a poem to celebrate summer, the meadowlark begins to sing 19
Woof of the sun, ethereal gauze 21
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 22
Childhood 25
An English summer 27
Fern hill 29
Dark, starry, sticky night : Missouri 32
A July afternoon by the pond 33
In summer, nothing happens 36
Gic to Har 39
Sleep in summer 41
Summer 43
Dark summer 45
My father paints the summer 46
At the Royal Academy 49
The house was quiet and the world was calm 50
Happiness 51
The kite 52
Bleecker Street, summer 54
Summertime and the living ... 56
Very late July 58
Summer noon, 1941 59
The supremes 61
The oven bird 64
Mid-August 65
A loon call 66
End of summer 68
Mother, summer, I 69
Surface effects in summer wind 70
Exeunt 72
Further in summer than the birds 73
On the grasshopper and the cricket 74
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