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 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Summer


To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee –
~Emily Dickinson, c. 1879

Summer, with its daisies, runs up to every cottage door. ~Alexander Smith, "Dreamthorp"

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent, in The Charleston Gazette, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1994

Summer set lip to earth's bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there:
Like a yawn of fire from the grass it came,
And the fanning wind puffed it to flapping flame...
~Francis Thompson

I question not if thrushes sing,
      If roses load the air;
            Beyond my heart I need not reach
      When all is summer there...
~John Vance Cheney, "Love's World"

      Oh! the Summer Night
      Has a smile of light,
And she sits on a sapphire throne...
~Barry Cornwall (Bryan Procter)

God's gifts are measureless, and there shall be
Eternal summer in the grateful heart.
~Celia Thaxter, "A Grateful Heart"

The wood's green heart is a nest of dreams,
The lush grass thickens and springs and sways,
The rathe wheat rustles, the landscape gleams—
Midsummer days! Midsummer days!
~William Ernest Henley (1849–1903), "Ballade of Midsummer Days and Nights"

Princess, what though we suffer? Sun and skies
And green trees' beauty make our cares seem small;
Boon that no Esau sells, or Crœsus buys,
The golden summer-time, is over all.
~Percy Reeve, "A Ballade of Summer-Time," Love & Music, 1883

All through the long hot lazy summer day
The whole wide earth lies drowzing in the sun:
The level fields of ripened yellow wheat
Are motionless, drugged by the golden heat:
The listless bumble bees all aimless stray,
Content to buzz, and leave their tasks undone.
Under the chestnut trees the cool shades lie,
Making a dim spot fit for men and gods.
Like Lotus-eaters, idling the hours away,
All through the long hot lazy summer day,
Content to drift and let the world go by
We drift. The world goes by—and whats the odds!
~Jean Wright, "Mid-Summer"

Summer has set in with its usual severity. ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1826

People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy. ~Anton Chekhov, 1898

In winter I get up at night
      And dress by yellow candle-light.
      In summer, quite the other way,
      I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
      The birds still hopping on the tree,
      Or hear the grown-up people's feet
      Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you,
      When all the sky is clear and blue,
      And I should like so much to play,
      To have to go to bed by day?
~Robert Louis Stevenson, "Bed in Summer," A Child's Garden of Verses, 1885

One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by. ~Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle, 2005

On such a day, the mere intaking of one's breath is a joy. The sky spreads above us, a shimmering sea of blue — not the cool and crystalline sapphire of early morning, but the deep dense azure of midsummer noon. How hot the bees must feel in that furry coat! As we lie basking in the sunlight, and watching the buttercups dancing and dipping above the grass, like golden banners amid an army of green-bladed bayonets... We see the hot air quivering and simmering above the clover fields, but all else is drowsily, dreamily, still. The streets of the far-off city are reeking with dusty heat, but here we are in another world, and the bees and the butterflies are our brethren. This meadow is our boundless prairie; our heads are below the level of the grass tops which spread filmy arms above, like the boughs of a miniature forest. ~Coulson Kernahan (1858–1943)

Now is it as if Spring had never been,
And Winter but a memory and dream,
Here where the Summer stands, her lap of green
Heaped high with bloom and beam...
~Madison Julius Cawein (1865–1914), "Heat"

Press close, bare-bosomed Night! Press close, magnetic, nourishing Night!
Night of south winds! Night of the large few stars!
Still, nodding night! Mad, naked, Summer Night!
~Walt Whitman

Do what we can, summer will have its flies... ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841

Youth and love and a summer day—
What fairer gifts could the gods bestow?
Ah, could the golden time but stay,
Of youth and love and a summer day!
~Jean Wright, "The Golden Time"

...the drowsy hum of crickets and other sleepy sounds of the summer day... ~Gerald Raftery (1905–1986), Gray Lance, 1950

This summer night
There are crickets shrilling
Beyond the deep bassoon of frogs.
~Anne Knish (Arthur Davison Ficke), "Opus 150," Spectra: A Book of Poetic Experiments, 1916  [farce —tg]

It is the hour to rend thy chains,
      The blossom-time of souls...
Expand thy wings, whate'er betide,
      The Summer is begun.
~Katharine Lee Bates (1859–1929), "A Song of Waking"

Heat, Ma'am!... it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones. ~Sydney Smith, memoir by his daughter Lady Holland

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time. ~John Lubbock, "Recreation," The Use of Life, 1894

There is no price set on the lavish summer,
And June may be had by the poorest comer.
~James Russell Lowell, The Vision of Sir Launfal, 1848

Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James (1843–1916), as quoted by Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance, 1934

The luxury of all summer's sweet sensation is to be found when one lies at length in the warm, fragrant grass, soaked with sunshine, aware of regions of blossoming clover and of a high heaven filled with the hum of innumerous bees. ~Harriet E. Prescott, The Atlantic Monthly, August 1865

The summertime is the heaven of the year. ~James Henry Potts, "Nature's Beauties," Every Life a Delight, 1914

Woods are filled with the music of birds, and all nature is laughing under the glorious influence of Summer. ~Charles Lanman, "The Dying Year," 1840

Midsummer noontide in a sky of brass:
The sun like flame licks at the blistered earth,
And shrivels up the blades of withering grass...
~John Gould Fletcher, "Midsummer Love"

Full-on summer fell like a hammer. By nine in the morning you could already start dreading how hot it was going to be. ~Janet Fitch, White Oleander, 1999

Love, though the fallen leaf
Mark, and the fleeting light
And the loud, loitering
Footfall of darkness
Sign, to the heart
Of the passage of destiny,
Here is the ghost
Of a summer that lived for us,
Here is a promise
Of summers to be.
~W. E. Henley, "Rhymes and Rhythms"  #autumn

Summer was at its height now, and the Rose-moon in its glory. ~Ernest Thompson Seton, The Biography of a Silver-Fox, 1909

O for a summer noon, when light and breeze
Sport on the grass, like ripples o'er a lake
Alive with freshness! when the full round Sun,
With the Creator's smile upon his face,
Walks like a prince of glory through the path
Of Heaven!—Thou vast, and ever-glorious sky,
Mantling the earth with thy majestic robe...
~Robert Montgomery, "Beautiful Influences," A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829

With the bikes leaning up against a farm gate, we were sitting at the roadside munching apples. The scent of wild rose and honeysuckle filled the air and the sounds of summer were all around us. I felt absolutely in my right element. I was not just living through a summer's afternoon — I was part of it. ~Elizabeth West, "The simple life, on a pittance," Hovel in the Hills: An Account of 'The Simple Life', 1977

SUMMER is treason, mingling
loam and lilacs, lifting
new flowers out of perished purple, dragging
six-petalled stars from the rubbish of leaves, demanding
meadows of brilliant rust where Indian paintbrush
burns from the rot of last year's stalks.
~Frances Frost, Woman of this Earth, 1934

I am Summer, come to lure you away from your computer... come dance on my fresh grass, dig your toes into my beaches. ~Oriana Green, @NatureSpirits, tweet, 2009

Vale-lily and periwinkle;
Wet stone-crop on the sill;
The look of leaves a-twinkle
With windlets clear and still;
The feel of a forest rill
That wimples fresh and fleet
About one's naked feet...
The chirp of rain-bound birds—
To live, I think of these!
~William Ernest Henley (1849–1903), "Ballade Made in the Hot Weather"

I get up on a glorious summer morning and gaze out at the new day. With all the strongest and deepest instincts of my nature I long to go out into the green beauty of the world, to fling myself down in some sloping meadow and feel the sunshine envelop me and the warm winds pass over me, to see them tossing the grasses and tugging at the trees and driving the white clouds across the blue, and to feel the great earth revolving under me — for if you lie long enough you can really get the sense of sailing through space. ~Elisabeth Woodbridge, "On Taking One's Dessert First," The Jonathan Papers, 1912

Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God so wills it;
No matter how barren the past may have been,
'T is enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell...
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near...
Every thing is upward striving;
'T is as easy now for the heart to be true
As for grass to be green or skies to be blue, —
'T is the natural way of living...
~James Russell Lowell, The Vision of Sir Launfal, 1848

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days — three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain. ~John Keats, letter to Fanny Brawne, 1819

There on the hills of summer let me lie
On the cool grass in friendship with the sky.
Let me lie there in love with earth and sun,
And wonder up at the light-foot winds that run,
Stirring the delicate edges of the trees,
And shaking down a music of the seas.
~Edwin Markham, "At Friends with Life," The Shoes of Happiness and Other Poems, 1913

Drawn by the insistent pull of the summer Sun's heat and light, watery sap fountains up stems to bring forth the next generation. The Green World's goal, to re-produce itself and thereby conquer time, is embedded in the swelling womb of each fruit as seeds that carry information from ancestral pasts into unknown futures. This production will sustain living beings over the winter months to come. ~Astrocal™, Astro Moon Diary, ©2022,

Strong in its mood, the year's sunlighted noon
Of earth's wide solstice burns over the fields,
And in my brain and body...
~Arthur Davison Ficke, "A Prayer at the Summer Solstice"

Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life and health, and stretching forth their green arms over the thirsty ground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, where was a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wide prospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched out beyond. The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green, and shed her richest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of the year, and all things were glad and flourishing. ~Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, 1838

Of ice and glass the tinkle,
Pellucid, silver-shrill;
Peaches without a wrinkle;
Cherries and snow at will,
From china bowls that fill
The senses with a sweet
Incuriousness of heat;
A melon's dripping sherds;
Cream-clotted strawberries;
Dusk dairies set with curds —
To live, I think of these!
~William Ernest Henley (1849–1903), "Ballade Made in the Hot Weather"

And all the long, hot summer day
The ceaseless locust dins its roundelay...
~Madison J. Cawein (1865–1914), "The Haunted House"

You, summer,
covering stumps in the wood with lichen, saying:
life feeds on death;
            staining the standing trees
green with moss, saying:
                  life feeds on life...
~Frances Frost, Woman of this Earth, 1934

There is no such thing as time to a man in a summer vacation. ~Henry Ward Beecher

...O brief and blue
And bittersweet the summer goes...
~Joseph Auslander, "Letter to Emily Dickinson," 1920s

This was one of those perfect New England days in late summer, when the spirit of autumn takes a first stealthy flight, like a spy, through the ripening country-side, and, with feigned sympathy for those who droop with August heat, puts her cool cloak of bracing air about leaf and flower and human shoulders. Every living thing grows suddenly cheerful and strong... ~Sarah Orne Jewett, "The Courting of Sister Wisby," 1888

The summer is so radiant
      I cannot see it go:
      I hug it closely to me for
      Its final warmth and glow...
There is a stalk of golden rod
      That is about to flower
      Oh, all my heart cries out against
      Forebodings of this hour!
Cold winds that blow, I bid you go
      To some bleak fastness—high—
      Where summer never comes at all
      And so can never die!
~George Elliston, "End of Summer," Through Many Windows, 1924

The end-of-summer winds make people restless. ~Sebastian Faulks, Engleby, 2007

The sun tires of summer and sighs itself into autumn. ~Terri Guillemets

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