The Soul of Summer
Incessant chatter of blackbirds over the flags,
Sinuous falls of the swallows and sudden turns,
Short flights, preoccupied, of the robin mothers —
This is the living summer, this is summer.
The fine dust drifts in the torpid air, sluggish —
A faint-blue shadow veil hung before green,
A dry hush on the grass stalks, on the corn stalks —
Lazy dust-drift of the heavy summer.
This is summer fulfilled, this is the summer
Of waiting wings, still wings in passionate tremor.
This is the summer when torpor blossoms to storms
And throbbing wings burst out to the height of the wind.
I too know the summer, I know the summer
Of light poured on the soft white of her neck;
I know the hair that flashed in the summer sun.
I know the summer whose laughter pierced my heart.
Edward Sapir (1884-1939)
from Poetry, August 1919
[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]
Edward Sapir biography