Poems About Summer

Poems About Summer – Capturing the Spirit of Summer in Verse

Where would we be without summer? Well, we’d probably be more comfortable seeing as summer can be unbearably hot. However, if you like summer, then poems about summer are probably just the thing for you! This article’s purpose is to give you a rundown of summer poems that either focus on summer itself or use summer as some kind of a metaphorical concept. Either way, poems about summer can be found all over the place and, hopefully, this list of summer poems should be of interest to you! So, for all the summer lovers out there, have a look at this ten-point list of poems about summer!



A Few Poems About Summer

When you teach high school kids about literature for as many years as I did, you sometimes get to ask them tough questions that make them think. In my experience, this is one of the greatest things about teaching a subject that requires critical thinking in some way. And is there a question more complicated than: “What are poems about summer?”. My presentation of this question is, obviously, spoken in some jest, but is it as silly as it seems?

Is a poem about summer just a poem that is directly about summer? Could a poem not use the idea of summer to talk about something else? Could it use summer as a metaphor to explore some other, deeper concept that the poet wishes to explore? There certainly will be examples of poems that are just about summer below, but there are also many that go a little bit deeper than all that.

Best Summer Poems

Being forced to think about these concepts can also be a fun and engaging thing to do. Will a poem about summer always treat summer as some positive thing? Is summer an inherently positive thing just because it is a part of the natural thing that we all experience once a year? Summer is an interesting concept to use within poetry, and this article plans to have a look at what makes that interesting.

This list of ten items that relate to summer will explore the concept of summer in a variety of different ways, and so, if that is something that gets all the summer fiends excited, then it should be a good list of poems to explore! However, for those who don’t really like summer, this series of summer poems should still be of interest, because just because this is a list of poems about summer does not mean that every item will, necessarily, be one that treats summer as some perfect thing. So, now that we have provided our precautionary words, we can see what poems about summer we have amassed below.


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (1609) by William Shakespeare

Date Published1609
Type of PoemShakespearean sonnet
MeterIambic pentameter

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? does not actually discuss summer itself, but instead uses the image of the summer or, more specifically, a particularly beautiful and temperate summer day, to elevate the beauty of the one that the speaker is discussing. The natural beauty of the summer’s day is one that is automatically assumed to be definitive and without reproach. We already know that the summer is a beautiful thing, but by comparing the summer and its natural beauty to a human being, we are therefore transferring that beauty to the person. This also means that we have naturalized the beauty of this person. They are, obviously, as beautiful as a summer’s day.

Thinking anything to the contrary would be tantamount to ludicrous thinking.

Historical Summer Poems Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (1609) by William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The Fly (1794) by William Blake

Date Published1794
Type of PoemQuatrain poem
Rhyme SchemeABCB
TopicA fly in summer

The Fly is a poem that is not directly about summer, but instead makes use of a reference to summer. The opening stanza evokes the image of summertime as a fly makes its way around the speaker. The fly ultimately dies in the poem, and the speaker contemplates life and death as they sit in the summer air and think about what has happened.

It is a highly contemplative poem and one that someone may not automatically associate with a poem about summer, but the summertime setting contributes to the overall feeling that the poem evokes in the reader as they make their way through this short tale of a fly in the summer.

Famous Poems About Summer The Fly (1794) by William Blake; William Blake, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


Miracles (1856) by Walt Whitman

Date Published1856
Type of PoemFree verse poem
Rhyme SchemeNone
TopicThe image of summer

Miracles is a poem that does not necessarily discuss summer itself but instead presents us with images that have come to be associated with summer in general. In this case, it mentions things like summer afternoons and the buzzing of busy bees. These kinds of images do not have to be summer-based, or at least not necessarily, but the poem attempts to capture this kind of a feeling, and it works remarkably well.

This has become one of the best poems about summer because of the vivid imagery that it uses and the way in which the thoughts of the speaker swirl around them.

Types of Summer Poems


Warm Summer Sun (1893) by Mark Twain

Date Published1893
Type of PoemFree verse poem
Rhyme SchemeNone
TopicThe summer and natural world

Warm Summer Sun is a rather short poem that focuses on various instances of summer’s existence. For instance, there is the warmth of the sun itself, the wind that slowly blows its way through the world, and the green plantlife that grows around us. The poem’s daytime images give way to the night, and it is perceived as a good night, a pleasant night, and one that the speaker eventually says their farewells to as they too go to bed. The cycle of summer days continues ever on, and it can also be seen as a metaphor for life itself. It is a good and warm thing that must eventually come to an end as our lives too come to an end.

However, one could interpret a poem like this in many different ways. 

Historical Poems About Summer


Summer Night, Riverside (1893) by Sara Teasdale

Date Published1893
Type of PoemFree verse poem
Rhyme SchemeNone
TopicSummer nights

Summer Night, Riverside is a poem that describes two people who sit together in the summertime night. The night in summer is one where the often unbearable heat of the day starts to fade away. It is no longer as boiling, but it is still warm. The nighttime is often, in many examples of literature, a time of fright and fear, it is when the monsters come out. But a beautiful summer night beside the river in the arms of a lover is a very different kind of feeling and one that many would likely understand immediately. The image of the season in poems about summer is not necessarily there to be used as a means of discussing the season itself, but rather to understand what summer means for the humans that are caught within its warm web.

What happens to us when spring gives way to summer?

Best Poems About Summer


Summer Song (Between 1909 and 1963) by William Carlos Williams

Date PublishedBetween 1909 and 1963
Type of PoemFree verse poem
Rhyme SchemeNone
TopicSummer mornings

Summer Song is a poem that describes the natural landscape one summer morning. There are certain terms that are used that create this image, such as “sleepily” and “indifferent”. The air of summer is hot and causes us to feel similar thoughts. The summertime air is personified as something that shares these kinds of thoughts and feelings. The dew on the leaves of the summer morning will soon dry up as the day becomes a lazy and calm thing, and that is why this is one of the best poems about summer. It seeks to capture the essence of what it means for there to be a summer morning.

The poem is a positive tale about the place of summer in our lives.

Explore Summer Poems


In Summer (1913) by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Date Published1913
Type of PoemQuatrain poem
Rhyme SchemeAABB
MeterIambic tetrameter
TopicThe spirit of summer

In Summer is a poem that directly focuses on the summer. This is one of the best examples of a poem about summer. In this case, the speaker discusses how summer has covered the earth in the warmth of the sun. It is everywhere around us. The sun acts as a supreme nurturing figure that has consumed all, but this is shown as something entirely positive. The latter half of the poem focuses on a farm laborer in this summertime air. The song on his lips and the breeze on his skin become central points of envy that the speaker contemplates.

This poem shows more than only the summer itself, but also the ways in which human beings can come to interact with the summer and what it means for us. It is a beautiful example of a summer poem.

Summer Poems Meaning


Summer Morn in New Hampshire (1920) by Claude McKay

Date Published1920
Type of PoemNon-standard poem
Rhyme SchemeABAB
MeterIambic pentameter
TopicSummer morning after rain

Summer Morn in New Hampshire is a poem that looks at the power of summer itself after the rain that comes in the night. The poem tells the story of a beautiful summer morning that has started to dry up the rain from the night before. The powerful and endless rain kept the speaker up at night, but the summer has come as a soothing force that strips the rain of its power and serves as a means of rejuvenation. However, while the poem does make use of summertime images and spends a significant amount of time focusing on the beauty of it.

The speaker is consumed by their desire for someone else, and so even the nurturing warmth of summer is not enough to distract them from the one they want.

Summer Poems


For Once, Then, Something (1923) by Robert Frost

Date Published1923
Type of PoemFree verse poem
Rhyme SchemeNone
MeterTrochaic pentameter
TopicThe natural world

For Once, Then, Something is a poem that does not directly make use of a call to summer itself, but the use of the “summer heaven” language that is used does present us with a rather overt call to summertime understanding. The summertime language is used to create a warm feeling that operates alongside the poem’s message of examining the natural world. The world around the well that the speaker discusses is one that is green and growing, one that is warm and welcoming.

The use of summer imagery in a poem does not need to be tied to words that typically evoke summer, but images can instead be used that present something similar to the reader.

Top Summer Poems


The Idea of Order at Key West (1934) by Wallace Stevens

Date Published1934
Type of PoemBlank verse poem
Rhyme SchemeNone
MeterIambic pentameter
TopicArt, imagination, and the natural world

The Idea of Order at Key West is one of the poems that does not actually discuss or even reference summer in any direct sense. Instead, it makes use of certain ideas and images that are often associated with summer. It is set on a beach in Florida, it is warm and the sea splashes along the sides of the beach, The poem contemplates ideas surrounding the lives of artists, the role of imagination in their world, and the search for meaning. All of these ideas occur alongside a summertime atmosphere, and so this goes to show how even the association with summer can have certain feelings that come to be attached to it. The poem does not need to directly reference a season for that particular season to play a disproportionate role in the poem’s messaging.

Famous Summer Poems


Well, that certainly was a list of poems about summer! As promised, some of these summer poems were more focused on summer itself and others used summer as a means to discuss some other thing. Hopefully, this list of poems about summer was a good and informative list for those who wish to read a few things that talk about summer. However, each of these poems are surrounded by a multitude of other summer poems. So, if you have enjoyed these particular poems about summer, then there are a lot more that have not been listed for the simple fact that there is not enough time in any one article to give a comprehensive list. This also means that there are a lot more out there if you’re fascinated by this topic in poetry! If you hold a similar interest, there are loads of other poems about summer for you to discover and enjoy!




Frequently Asked Questions


What Are Poems About Summer?

The premise of a summer poem can be found within the question. These will be poems that are, in some way, about summer. This does not mean that they necessarily view summer positively, and it also does not mean that they are directly about summer, but that they use summer in some way to convey an idea. Many poems about summer treat summer as a positive force in the world, but they do not all do so.


Is There a Specific Type of Poem That Is Commonly Used to Write About Summer?

The notion of poems about summer is not one that lends itself to a formalized structure. So, there is no definitive type of poetry that is best used for summer. If a poet wished to use a sonnet to write about summer, then they are just as free to do so, as is someone who has decided to write a sestina about summer. There are no rules when it comes to writing about a particular topic, and any kind of poetry can be freely used.


What Are the Common Characteristics of a Poem About Summer?

While a poem about summer could discuss summer in whatever way it chooses, there are some common attributes. Some of those include ideas such as the use of natural imagery, the sensory experience of heat, for positive or negative reasons, and the emotional attachment to summer. None of these aspects are necessarily those that can be seen in a negative or positive light, as they are all simply ways in which summer can be used in a poem. There are many other ways too, but these are some of the most common characteristics of poems about summer.


Are Summer Poems Common?

Many people love summer, and so the use of poems about summer is rather common. There are many poets in the world who have used the image of summer to explore some other idea or concept, but others have also simply directly examined and discussed summer itself. Neither of these ideas are any more or less valid than the other. This list of poems about summer may be a collection of ten such poems, but there are so many other summer poems out there that can also be enjoyed.


What Are the Most Famous Summer Poems?

Some of the most famous of all poems about summer include those like Warm Summer Sun (1893) by Mark Twain, In Summer (1913) by Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Summer Morn in New Hampshire (1920) by Claude McKay. However, this is an even smaller group of summer poems than the article that has preceded this section. Poems about summer can be found all over the place and they have been written for hundreds of years. So, if you need even more summer poems, you won’t have any difficulty in finding a few.


Cite this Article

Justin, van Huyssteen, “Poems About Summer – Capturing the Spirit of Summer in Verse.” Art in Context. January 18, 2024. URL: https://artincontext.org/poems-about-summer/

van Huyssteen, J. (2024, 18 January). Poems About Summer – Capturing the Spirit of Summer in Verse. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/poems-about-summer/

van Huyssteen, Justin. “Poems About Summer – Capturing the Spirit of Summer in Verse.” Art in Context, January 18, 2024. https://artincontext.org/poems-about-summer/.

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