In William Blake’s poem “To Summer,” the vision of summer that he addresses is grand, powerful; summer personified is a godlike figure like the mythological sun god Helios who “passest thro’ our vallies in / Thy strength” and commands a string of “fierce steeds” with flaming nostrils. Though fierce and perhaps even overbearing, Blake’s summer is also playful and welcome company who “oft / Beneath our oaks has slept, while we beheld / With joy, thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair.”

Tomorrow marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the official start of summer. Celebrate the season’s start with more poems about summer, and browse related poems about travel and vacation.

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