Archives for posts with tag: summer poems

by Nina Cassian

…Despite all my inner crumblings,
I’m still able to recognize a perfect day:
sea without shadow,
sky without wrinkles,
air hovering over me like a blessing…

“Summer X-Rays” appears in Nina Cassian‘s collection Contiunum (W.W. Norton, 2009) , available at Read “Summer X-Rays” in its entirety at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nina Cassian (pen name of Renée Annie Cassian, born on November 27, 1924) is a Romanian poet, composer, journalist and film critic. She is noted for translating into Romanian the works of William Shakespeare and Bertolt Brecht and has published more than fifty books of poetry. (Read more at

by Carl Sandburg

Summer grass aches and whispers
It wants something; it calls and it sings; it pours
            Out wishes to the overhead stars.
The rain hears; the rain answers; the rain is slow
            Coming; the rain wets the face of the grass.

by David Wagoner

Out of the nursery and into the garden   
where it rooted and survived its first hard winter,   
then a few years of freedom while it blossomed,   
put out its first tentative branches, withstood   
the insects and the poisons for insects,   
developed strange ideas about its height   
and suffered the pruning of its quirks and clutters,   
its self-indulgent thrusts   
and the infighting of stems at cross purposes   
year after year.  Each April it forgot   
why it couldn’t do what it had to do,   
and always after blossoms, fruit, and leaf-fall,   
was shown once more what simply couldn’t happen.   

Its oldest branches now, the survivors carved   
by knife blades, rain, and wind, are sending shoots   
straight up, blood red, into the light again.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Wagoner (born June 5, 1926) is an American poet who has written many poetry collections and ten novels. David Wagoner’s Collected Poems was nominated for the National Book Award in 1977 and he won the Pushcart Prize that same year. He was again nominated for a National Book Award in 1979 for In Broken Country. He won his second Pushcart Prize in 1983. He is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (1991), the English-Speaking Union prize from Poetry magazine, and the Arthur Rense Prize in 2011. He has also received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

PAINTING: “Sunny Day Cherries,” watercolor by Diane Morgan, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Happy 449th birthday to William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564. (Interesting fact: Shakespeare also died on April 23 — in 1616, at age 52.)


We are currently editing the Silver Birch Press SUMMER ANTHOLOGY — a collection of poetry and prose from authors around the works — and applaud Shakespeare for writing the quintessential summer poem, which we will of course include in the SUMMER ANTHOLOGY.

To celebrate the bard’s birthday, we bring you this celebrated poem from his immortal pen.

by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? 

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: 

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d; 

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou growest: 

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this and this gives life to thee.


It’s still April — and it’s still National Poetry Month in the United States. The American Academy of Poets has developed a list of 30 ways to celebrate. One of the suggestions is to memorize a poem. We think Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare is a perfect candidate — because it’s “short…with a strong rhythmic underpinning” as the National Poetry Month site suggests.

Illustration: Shakespeare postcard from (on sale for just $1.03).


by Carolyn Miller

We celebrated the solstice by a waterfall
the water overflowing like our lives rushing
and rushing past us so much water
in the narrow channel of the slanting Mousse
it fell onto the rocks and blew up in spray
and the sound of it almost drowned out our talking
as we laughed together and drank Champagne
the bubbles rising in our glasses like spray
from the rocks while everywhere leaves
were conspiring to live their lives and the stones
looked on with their histories locked inside them
and we talked on as water spilled and fell and the light
stayed on after we had left our emptied glasses
and the sound of the waterfall kept on rising
in the narrow gorge where tiny wild orchids
bloomed in the long long light and the river
begonias waited for their turn to open
in the fullness of that summer

“Night of the Summer Solstice” and other poetry by Carolyn Miller will appear in the Silver Birch Press SUMMER ANTHOLOGY — a collection of poetry and prose from over 50 authors around the world — available June 1, 2013.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn Miller is a poet and painter living in San Francisco. Light, Moving, her most recent book of poetry, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press in 2009, and her first full-length collection, After Cocteau, was published by the same press in 2002. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and The Gettysburg Review, among other journals, and her awards include the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry from Shenandoah, and the Rainmaker Award from Zone 3.