“I dig old books.” ™
Welcome to my page of quotations about seasons. These quotes are either about the seasons in general or they reference multiple seasons at once. There are also separate pages for Winter, Autumn, Spring, Summer, and Weather. Some of the quotes were written in the context of aging or stages of life, and some simply refer to the actual seasons of our earth, living with the seasons, seasonal living, the wheel of the year, etc. Enjoy!
When you're young you prefer the vulgar months, the fullness of the seasons. As you grow older you learn to like the in-between times, the months that can't make up their minds. Perhaps it's a way of admitting that things can't ever bear the same certainty again. Or perhaps it's just a way of admitting a preference for empty ferries. ~Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot, 1984
I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year...
~Edna St. Vincent Millay
The flowers of Spring may wither, the hope of Summer fade,
The Autumn droop in Winter, the birds forsake the shade;
The winds be lull'd—the Sun and Moon forget their old decree,
But we in Nature's latest hour, O Lord! will cling to Thee.
~Reginald Heber (1783–1826), "Seventh Sunday After Trinity," Hymns, Written and Adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year [The original version of this was a poem titled "Spring," published in 1816. This modified version was published posthumously in 1827 by his widow Amelia Heber. The wordings of the two versions have quite a few variations.
Children live in close touch with the seasons. Only a few years have been marked in their memories; they are still surprised by the miracle of spring, the hush of falling snow, autumn's glorious blaze of color. ~“A Word to Parents and Teachers,” Saints of the Seasons for Children by Ethel Pochocki Marbach, 1989
learn from leaves
green is go
yellow & red
slow down, stop
take time to rest
~Terri Guillemets, "Seasonal wisdom," 1999
We humans were clearly highly seasonal beasts until the coming of electric light but traces remain. ~Brian Follett
Forecast for spring: giddy and warm.
Forecast for summer: happy and hot.
Forecast for autumn: serene and chilly.
Forecast for winter: blessed and freezing.
We are reflexive creatures, and the seasons play a large part in human culture and in making our psychology and social behaviour what it is.... The adaptations of our ancestors that enabled them to survive and reproduce by anticipating the seasonal vagaries of the climate still reside deep within our metabolism and life histories. ~Russell G. Foster and Leon Kreitzman, Seasons of Life: The Biological Rhythms that Enable Living Things to Thrive and Survive, 2009
May I strike my heart's keys clearly, and may none fail
because of slack, uncertain, or fraying strings.
May the tears that stream down my face
make me more radiant: may my hidden weeping
bloom.... How we waste our afflictions!...
our wintering foliage, our dark greens of meaning, one
of the seasons of the clandestine year—; not only
a season—: they're site, settlement, shelter, soil, abode.
~Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), "The Tenth Elegy," translated by Edward Snow
In the springtime, leaves unfolding,
Growing, growing one by one,
In the summer, always giving
Cool, green shade to every one;
In the autumn, tall and stately,
Dressed in yellow, red and brown,
In the winter, sleeping, sleeping,
While the snow comes softly down...
~Charlotte Lay Dewey, "A Song of the Trees," in Kindergarten Review (Springfield, Mass.), October 1906
...under the soft spring sun, into summer's glare, through the muted fall, and into the hard chill of winter when the trees are bare. ~Maud Casey, The Man Who Walked Away, 2014
[A]n English wit, disgusted with the "namby pamby" style of the French calendar, ridiculed this new method of registering time in the following ludicrous translation of their months...
Autumn,—wheezy, sneezy, freezy.
Winter,—slippy, drippy, nippy.
Spring,—showery, flowery, bowery.
Summer,—hoppy, croppy, poppy.
~John Brady, Clavis Calendaria: Or, A Compendious Analysis of the Calendar, 1812 [I've yet to determine with certainty the identity of the English wit, but variations of this humorous translation of the 1793 French revolutionary calendar are most commonly attributed to Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816) as "Sheridan's Rhyming Calendar" and to George Ellis (1753–1815) as "The Twelve Months." Other attributions include "the late Mr Gifford" (1865), Mother Goose (1953), an "English wag" (1822) and an "old wit." Summer's "poppy" is said to refer to partridge shooting. Other versions refer to the months in order from January to December as: snowy, flowy, blowy; showery, flowery, bowery; moppy, croppy, droppy; breezy, sneezy, freezy. The complex French calendar being mocked was actually categorized by seasonal "months" rather than the months as we now know them. Another version has the spring as seedy and meady, summer as mowy, with autumn including "squeezy" for the time of wine pressing.
Summer leaks into autumn.
Autumn leafs into winter.
Winter leans into spring.
Spring leaps into summer.
It is as if one, on a Christmas eve, should run over the seasons of the closing year and try to resolve which he loved best, and which he had rather live over; the stirring life, the first zephyr, the manifold birth of bloom and music, in earth and sky, of spring; the grander stillness of the summer noontide, the passing off of the tempest charged with thunder, the bow resting in the cloud; or the fruitful and bland autumn, the nodding harvest, the harvest-home, the thanksgiving, the serener blue, enlivened with golden light. Among this series of beauties and joys, we can not choose; but we may bless God for them all. ~Rufus Choate (1799–1859), "Reflections on the Birth-day of Daniel Webster," 18th of January, 1858
Winter's modest, muted sermon is: be patient and have faith.
Springtime speaks lively green and spirited: love and grow and rejoice!
Summer sings its blue-sky, simple lesson: life is good, let's play!
Autumn's thankful, orange-red voice says: harvest, reflect, and prepare.
Spring, the low prelude of a lordlier song:
Summer, a music without hint of death:
Autumn, a cadence lingeringly long:
Winter, a pause;—the Minstrel-Year takes breath.
~William Watson, "The Year's Minstrelsy," Epigrams of Art, Life, and Nature, 1884
Shedding late-summer tears for the end of cherry season. Patiently and hopefully waiting for pumpkin pie season. ~Terri Guillemets
I move easily
between the four seasons —
dance-painting my planting songs.
dance-painting my gardening songs.
dance-painting my harvesting songs.
dance-painting my quiet winter listening songs.
~James McGrath (b.1928)
Nature... discards her floral trimmings in obedience to a reign of tyrannical ice! ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
Spring is a lover
Summer, a partier
Autumn, an artist
Winter, a philosopher
Good night to the Season!—Another
Will come, with its trifles and toys,
And hurry away, like its brother,
In sunshine, and odour, and noise.
Will it come with a rose or a briar?
Will it come with a blessing or curse?
Will its bonnets be lower or higher?
Will its morals be better or worse?
Will it find me grown thinner or fatter,
Or fonder of wrong or of right,
Or married— or buried?—no matter:
Good night to the Season—good night!
~Winthrop Mackworth Praed, "Good Night to the Season," August 1827
seasons in the garden
have an ancient grace
~Terri Guillemets, "Year-Round Dreams," 2019, blackout poetry created from Jane Yolen, Here There Be Unicorns, 1994, page 33
With the first beam of sun, the ice began to drip from the imprisoned trees and every fibre of shrub and tree to quiver with aspiration, as though a clod should suddenly find a soul.
In the watcher's heart, too, had come another Spring, for once in time and tune with the outer world. The heart's seasons seldom coincide with the calendar. Who among us has not been made desolate beyond all words upon some golden day when the little creatures of the air and meadow were life incarnate, from sheer joy of living? Who among us has not come home, singing, when the streets were almost impassable with snow, or met a friend with a happy, smiling face, in the midst of a pouring rain?
The soul, too, has its own hours of Winter and Spring. ~Myrtle Reed McCullough, Old Rose and Silver, "Chapter VIII: The Year's at the Spring," 1909
Late winter and early spring blend and blur
in pleasant days and chilly nights,
penetrating sun and gentle cool breezes
with stirrings of life, subtle and green.
Mornings that light ever earlier rouse us, but
sunsets that still come in evening's youth lull.
The winter will be short, the summer long,
The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot,
Tasting of cider and of scuppernong;
All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all....
Peaches grow wild, and pigs can live in clover...
The spring begins before the winter's over....
The months between the cherries and the peaches
Are brimming cornucopias which spill
Fruits red and purple, somber-bloomed and black....
Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones
There's something in this richness that I hate.
I love the look, austere, immaculate,
Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones.
There's something in my very blood that owns
Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate....
[S]pring, briefer than apple-blossom's breath,
Summer, so much too beautiful to stay,
Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves,
And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.
~Elinor Wylie, "Wild Peaches," Nets to Catch the Wind, 1921
Lean on summer's last breaths, and fall gracefully into winter. ~Terri Guillemets, "Breathing through," 2009
Spring, if it lingers more than a week beyond its span, starts to hunger for summer to end the days of perpetual promise. Summer in its turn soon begins to sweat for something to quench its heat, and the mellowest of autumns will tire of gentility at last, and ache for a quick sharp frost to kill its fruitfulness. Even winter — the hardest season, the most implacable — dreams, as February creeps on, of the flame that will presently melt it away. Everything tires with time, and starts to seek some opposition, to save it from itself. So August gave way to September and there were few complaints. ~Clive Barker, The Hellbound Heart, 1986
To me it seems that youth is like spring, an overpraised season—delightful if it happen to be a favoured one, but in practice very rarely favoured and more remarkable, as a general rule, for biting east winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.... True, in old age we live under the shadow of Death, which, like a sword of Damocles, may descend at any moment, but we have so long found life to be an affair of being rather frightened than hurt that we have become like the people who live under Vesuvius, and chance it without much misgiving. ~Samuel Butler (1835–1902)
Every season hath its pleasures:
Spring may boast her flowery prime,
Yet the vineyard's ruby treasures
Brighten Autumn's soberer time.
So life's year begins and closes;
Days, though shortening, still can shine;
What, though youth gave loves and roses,
Age still leaves us friends and wine.
~Thomas Moore (1779–1852), "Spring and Autumn"
...No pleader can prevail
Who prays against the laws of Time or Fate:
No matter how we murmur and bewail,
The robins will not build in winter hail,
Nor lilacs blow in February. Wait!
Have faith, my friend. And when these stormy glooms
Have chastened us for June, come here again,
And you shall see my tree made glad with blooms,
Its branches all a-toss with purple plumes
Sweeping across this selfsame window-pane!
~Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (1832–1911), "Time," c.1866
The year leads round the seasons, in a choir
For ever charming, and for ever new,
Blending the grand, the beautiful, the gay,
The mournful, and the tender, in one strain...
~James G. Percival, "Poetry," c.1822
If spring betrays summer, would autumn never arrive? ~Terri Guillemets
Mother Nature never tiring
As she works through sun and rain.
Never does she err in judgment;
No mistakes she ever makes,
As she plans each season's schedule;
Never any glory takes!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "The Wedding of the Leaves" (1940s)
Seasons depart peripherally. ~Terri Guillemets
The weather behaved itself. In the spring, the little flowers came out obediently in the meads, and the dew sparkled, and the birds sang. In the summer it was beautifully hot for no less than four months, and, if it did rain just enough for agricultural purposes, they managed to arrange it so that it rained while you were in bed. In the autumn the leaves flamed and rattled before the west winds, tempering their sad adieu with glory. And in the winter, which was confined by statute to two months, the snow lay evenly, three feet thick, but never turned into slush. ~T.H. White, The Once and Future King, 1958
Spring is being blessed and happy,
with blooming flowers.
Summer is being blessed and hot,
with abundant sunshine.
Autumn is being blessed and reflective,
with colored leaves.
Winter is being blessed and chilly,
with sparkling snow.
This is the height of spring—or one of the heights, to be followed by others. Yet it would be improvident to find only spring in springtime or fall in autumn. There is no better time than winter to enjoy a summer day, no better time than spring to savor the fall. If you observe the progress of the seasons carefully, you will find them all present the year around. They are interwoven themes in this continuing symphonic utterance, each becoming dominant in its turn without ever wholly vanquishing the rest. Listen carefully and you will hear on the cellos, throughout this first movement, the theme of fall; subordinate, awaiting its eventual turn to be announced on the brasses and taken up by the violins, but there nevertheless. Occasionally and for a moment it emerges clearly, as if by accident, like a bird that sings out of season. ~Louis J. Halle, Jr. (1910–1998), Spring in Washington, 1947
Winter slithers, autumn strolls,
summer swims, spring skips.
The cold dull glow of winter warms to the colorful brilliance of springtime. ~Terri Guillemets
In a winter fireplace burns the fantasy of spring —
wildflowers flaming across a lush wooded landscape
Call him not old, whose visionary brain
Holds o'er the past its undivided reign.
For him in vain the envious seasons roll
Who bears eternal summer in his soul....
Stir the few life-drops creeping round his heart,—
Turn to the record where his years are told,—
Count his gray hairs,—they cannot make him old!
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, 1858
the vibrant green-yellow-pink blossom-life of spring
the watery-blue radiant sunshine-breath of summer
the metallic-earth-toned glowing-decay of autumn
the grey-white holly-festive slow-motion of winter
Related Quotations: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Weather, Sky, Gardening, Aging, Food, Nature, Environment, Health, Body, Time, Vacations, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Light, December, January