End-of-August poems


(poetry diary 12) The end of August isn’t technically the end of summer, but it does feel like it.  My husband started recapping this morning, asking what five things defined this past summer for me… which I’m mentioning as it strikes me that doing the same could make a good poem-generating exercise for someone.  (Things like the Olympics and the presidential battles and beach-going made our lists.  Heat-lightning could be added, as well as picking the best blueberries we’d ever tasted right before getting stung by bees.)

I think I’ll hold off on posting end-of-summer poems until it really is the end of summer, but I found a few good late-August poems in the meantime.

Peter Campion has a nice quiet one about sitting with a companion and seeing two does…

their presence in the space

around them liveliest

just before they vanish.

Read “In Late August

Then there is John Hollander’s lovely “Late August on the Lido:”

To lie on these beaches for another summer

Would not become them at all,

And yet the water and her sands will suffer

When, in the fall,

These golden children will be taken from her.

Read rest of “Late August on the Lido”

Margaret Atwood is a little less melancholy in her own “Late August” poem, in which she writes that “This is the plum season.”

No more the shrill voices

that cried Need Need

from the cold pond, bladed

and urgent as new grass


Now it is the crickets

that say Ripe Ripe

slurred in the darkness,

Read “In Late August

I wish anyone who reads this a happy last day of August.

Note:  I just wished a coworker “Happy end of August!” and she said “Ugh!” and then made an angry-cat noise.  A poem? 


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