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Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: Talia (192.168.128.---)
Date: June 21, 2006 08:28AM

Today is the Summer Solstice and the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. For those of us in the north, today will be the longest day of the year and tonight will be the shortest night.

The reason it has been getting warmer and warmer for those of us in the north is not that we're any closer to the sun. In fact, the entire earth is about three million miles farther from the sun at this time of the year. The difference in the temperature is due to the fact that our planet is tilted on its axis, and at this time of year, the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, receiving more direct radiation for longer periods of time each day.

It is that slight tilt, only 23 and 1/2 degrees, that makes the difference between winter and summer. As the northern hemisphere begins to tilt toward the sun, the temperature rises enough that we can take off our jackets, hats, and mittens, but more importantly the rise in temperature allows most of the plants we eat to germinate. Wheat and many other plants require an average temperature of at least 40° F to grow. Corn needs a temperature of 50° F, and rice needs a temperature of 68° F.

To Summer
by William Blake

O thou who passest thro' our valleys in
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat
That flames from their large nostrils! thou, O Summer,
Oft pitched'st here thy goldent tent, and oft
Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld
With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair.

Beneath our thickest shades we oft have heard
Thy voice, when noon upon his fervid car
Rode o'er the deep of heaven; beside our springs
Sit down, and in our mossy valleys, on
Some bank beside a river clear, throw thy
Silk draperies off, and rush into the stream:
Our valleys love the Summer in his pride.

Our bards are fam'd who strike the silver wire:
Our youth are bolder than the southern swains:
Our maidens fairer in the sprightly dance:
We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy,
Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven,
Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat.



Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: June 21, 2006 12:15PM

Summer Night, Riverside
by Sara Teasdale

In the wild, soft summer darkness
How many and many a night we two together
Sat in the park and watched the Hudson
Wearing her lights like golden spangles
Glinting on black satin.
The rail along the curving pathway
Was low in a happy place to let us cross,
And down the hill a tree that dripped with bloom
Sheltered us,
While your kisses and the flowers,
Falling, falling,
Tangled my hair. . . .


The frail white stars moved slowly over the sky.


And now, far off
In the fragrant darkness
The tree is tremulous again with bloom,
For June comes back.

To-night what girl
Dreamily before her mirror shakes from her hair
This year's blossoms, clinging in its coils?

Les


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: joe-t (192.168.128.---)
Date: June 22, 2006 10:07AM

Les:

That Teasdale poem has always been a favorite for Pat and me. Growing up in Jersey City, we often drove the two or three miles up to Boulevard East in West New York, NJ to sit in the park along the lower palisades at night and enjoy the wonderful view of NYC and the Hudson River "wearing her lights like golden spangeles." There's really nothing quite like it for two people in love.

Ironically, we were just talking about that very thing this past Sunday while our "kids" were here celebrating Father's Day with me. And now that Talia's thoughts of summer motivated you to dig out the poem and post it, it has moved us to pay a visit once again to "our spot" this evening. We really don't live too far from it, but as often happens, we've rarely found the time to visit one of the places that has played such an important role in our lives.

Thanks for the remider.

Joe


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: June 22, 2006 12:34PM

Joe, one of the neat things about finding poems, and posting them, is that they DO evoke memories in readers like those you describe. I'm glad this one touched home for you.

Les


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: June 27, 2006 10:44AM

"Spring has sprung
Fall has fell
Here comes Summer
Hot as ever"

Oogie?


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: Talia (192.168.128.---)
Date: June 29, 2006 09:24AM

"On a Fly Drinking Out of His Cup" by William Oldys.

On a Fly Drinking Out of His Cup

Busy, curious, thirsty fly!
Drink with me and drink as I:
Freely welcome to my cup,
Couldst thou sip and sip it up:
Make the most of life you may,
Life is short and wears away.

Both alike are mine and thine
Hastening quick to their decline:
Thine's a summer, mine's no more,
Though repeated to threescore.
Threescore summers, when they're gone,
Will appear as short as one!


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: June 29, 2006 02:52PM

Love In A Mist
--Algernon Charles Swinburne

Light love in a mist, by the midsummer moon misguided,
Scarce seen in the twilight garden if gloom insist,
Seems vainly to seek for a star whose gleam has derided
Light love in a mist.

All day in the sun, when the breezes do all they list,
His soft blue raiment of cloudlike blossom abided
Unrent and unwithered of winds and of rays that kissed.

Blithe-hearted or sad, as the cloud or the sun subsided,
Love smiled in the flower with a meaning whereof none wist
Save two that beheld, as a gleam that before them glided,
Light love in a mist.

Les


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: June 29, 2006 03:03PM

Dedication

Inscribed to a Dear Child:
In Memory of Golden Summer Hours
And Whispers of a Summer Sea
--Lewis Carroll


Girt with a boyish garb for boyish task,
Eager she wields her spade: yet loves as well
Rest on a friendly knee, intent to ask
The tale he loves to tell.
Rude spirits of the seething outer strife,
Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright,
Deem if you list, such hours a waste of life,
Empty of all delight!

Chat on, sweet Maid, and rescue from annoy
Hearts that by wiser talk are unbeguiled.
Ah, happy he who owns that tenderest joy,
The heart-love of a child!

Les


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: June 29, 2006 03:09PM

Summer Night, Riverside
--Sara Teasdale


In the wild soft summer darkness
How many and many a night we two together
Sat in the park and watched the Hudson
Wearing her lights like golden spangles
Glinting on black satin.
The rail along the curving pathway
Was low in a happy place to let us cross,
And down the hill a tree that dripped with bloom
Sheltered us,
While your kisses and the flowers,
Falling, falling,
Tangled in my hair. . . .

The frail white stars moved slowly over the sky.

And now, far off
In the fragrant darkness
The tree is tremulous again with bloom
For June comes back.

To-night what girl
Dreamily before her mirror shakes from her hair
This year's blossoms, clinging to its coils?

Les


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: June 29, 2006 03:11PM

Ourselves were wed one summer—dear
--Emily Dickinson


Ourselves were wed one summer—dear—
Your Vision—was in June—
And when Your little Lifetime failed,
I wearied—too—of mine—

And overtaken in the Dark—
Where You had put me down—
By Some one carrying a Light—
I—too—received the Sign.

'Tis true—Our Futures different lay—
Your Cottage—faced the sun—
While Oceans—and the North must be—
On every side of mine

'Tis true, Your Garden led the Bloom,
For mine—in Frosts—was sown—
And yet, one Summer, we were Queens—
But You—were crowned in June—

Les


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2006 03:16PM by lg.


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: June 29, 2006 03:16PM

Myriads of Stars
--Bernard Shaw

There are myriads of stars in the night sky,
The month of June is drawing nigh.
A new moon peeps timidly but bright,
To help lighten this beautiful night.
A shooting star drops elegantly into my view,
I make a wish I just know it will come true.
Insects making music in the nightly background,
Have you ever heard such a melodious sound?
A fresh warm breeze blows from afar,
In the distance the low hum of a car,
This is truly nature at it's best,
The busy day long gone to rest.
A nightingale sings a song of the night,
Much to my pleasure and great delight.
There are myriads of stars in the night skies,
Only sweet nature understands my surprise.

Les


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: June 29, 2006 06:11PM

Hmmm. Clearly that wasn't written by George Bernard Shaw, Les, and indeed you have typed just Bernard Shaw. Reminds me of Mark Twain's observation about the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: June 29, 2006 09:56PM

Ian, I found it here. [www.poetrygalore.com] probably not George, but still a good read.


Les

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2006 09:57PM by lg.


Re: Happy Summer Solstice
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: July 03, 2006 05:51AM

So here's another take on the 'myriads of stars':

They are the icy spikes of winter nights
That prick the heart-warm blood with stilling chill.
They are God's whiskers, old and frosty white
Or shards of milk the dipper big had spilled.
The stars are slow invaders edging in
So cautiously we fail to see their aim
Or else the stars are seedlings planted thin
Within the loamy darkness, bright and plain.
I cannot fathom distances or time
Within the ceaseless broadcast of the sky.
Reducing fiery suns to words and rhyme
Arrests, if for a moment, questions why
We would be privy to such cosmic awe
For I am here, confessing what I saw.

—Gideon Burton




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