Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Extra Credit: Memorize a Summer Poem

These earn about a point a line.  You do not have to learn all stanzas, but lines must be learned in stanza-long chunks, and you must be able to identify title and author. 

Summer Sun

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy's inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson
Bed in Summer
by Robert Louis Stevenson
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer
          -- Walt Whitman
WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;        
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

It's like living in a light bulb, with the leaves
Like filaments and the sky a shell of thin, transparent glass
Enclosing the late heaven of a summer day, a canopy
Of incandescent blue above the dappled sunlight golden
     on the grass...
          From Sally's Hair by John Koethe

Dreaming of Summer

I'm dreaming of warm sandy beaches.
I'm dreaming of days by the pool.
I'm dreaming of fun in the afternoon sun,
and week after week of no school.

I'm thinking of swim suits and sprinklers,
imagining lemonade stands.
I'm lost in a daydream of squirt guns and ice cream
and plenty of time on my hands.

I'm picturing baseball and hot dogs,
Envisioning games at the park,
and how it stays light until late every night,
and seems like it never gets dark.

I long to ride skateboards and scooters.
I want to wear t-shirts and shorts.
I'd go for a hike, or I'd ride on my bike,
or play lots of summertime sports.

My revery turns to a yearning
to draw on the driveway with chalk.
It's really a bummer to daydream of summer
while shoveling snow from the walk.
--Kenn Nesbitt

Part of 
by: Anne Bronte (1820-1849)
'LL rest me in this sheltered bower,
And look upon the clear blue sky
That smiles upon me through the trees,
Which stand so thick clustering by;

And view their green and glossy leaves,
All glistening in the sunshine fair;
And list the rustling of their boughs,
So softly whispering through the air.

by: Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1906)
      E knew it would rain, for all the morn
      A spirit on slender ropes of mist
      Was lowering its golden buckets down
      Into the vapory amethyst.
      Of marshes and swamps and dismal fens--
      Scooping the dew that lay in the flowers,
      Dipping the jewels out of the sea,
      To sprinkle them over the land in showers.
      We knew it would rain, for the poplars showed
      The white of their leaves, the amber grain
      Shrunk in the wind--and the lightning now
      Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain! 

by: Anne Bronte (1820-1849)
      Y soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring
      And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
      For above and around me the wild wind is roaring,
      Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas.

      The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing,
      The bare trees are tossing their branches on high;
      The dead leaves beneath them are merrily dancing,
      The white clouds are scudding across the blue sky

      I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing
      The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray;
      I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing,
      And hear the wild roar of their thunder to-day!
"Lines Composed in a Wood on a Windy Day" is reprinted from Poems By Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Charlotte, Anne, and Emily Bronte. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1848.