“Ode to Summer”

I wrote the following poem for an ode-writing contest six years ago. I don’t think they were looking for traditional-style odes, but that’s what came first to my mind. Perhaps I went a mite overboard. :) Peace to your ♥ !

 Ode to Summer

O, Summer! That you should be measured solely by that
span from solstice to autumnal equinox!
Nay, you are more: the former part of June you did adopt and made sister
to the other three: sultry July, August that bears a canine stamp,
and sweet September whose mildness mocks the school-bound child.
Your lamp you do not douse till late, but let it burn
that we might feast outdoors in golden light,
And even then do not extinguish all, but spark the night with flies
which so impress, we close our eyes and find them gleaming still.

Summer! Who can fail to heed your dulcet call, enticement
to lay aside our base pursuits and, free from confining boot and wall,
tramp barefoot through an earthy paradise?
The bee proposes how to spend a happy hour: from him we learn
to find content in drawing from each scented flower
such heavenly drink as to honey all our later waking
and be rich fare for the meager winter board.
And thus we savor the gurgling brook, the slanting ray that gilds a path
to the celestial gate, gladsome air of wren and rook,
and each shady nook within the verdant copse.

Were I compelled to wear out my days in endless summer,
fain would I embrace my fate.
But as that congenial plight can ne’er be mine,
rather will I praise your endless charms, and count myself thrice blest
if in these lines a single summer’s moment I have stopped,
that it may be forever treasured.
Yea, Summer, figure of all that is fair and good,
such that a thousand lines would not suffice to name the half,
Fortunate the man who can afford to court thy favors!

© Stephanie Malley

Published in the July 2017 issue of Glass: Facets of Poetry.

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