The Locust

Its hot voice sizzles from some cool tree
It seems to burn its way through the air
Like a small, pointed flame of sound
Sharpened on the ecstatic edge of sunbeams.


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 16, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“The Locust” first appeared in Poetry XVI, no. IV (July 1920), and later in Speyer’s first collection of poems, A Canopic Jar (E. P. Dutton & Company, 1921). Through synesthesia, Speyer’s speaker links the distinctive sound of the locusts to the feeling of summer heat.