First Day of Summer

By Kichigin

Today marks the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, also known as midsummer and the first day of summer. The sun reaches its highest point in the sky for the year on this day.

To celebrate the start of the season, here is a poem by Carl Sandburg, “Back Yard” from The Chicago Poems (Henry Holt and Company, 1916).

Back Yard

Shine on, O moon of summer.
Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak,
All silver under your rain to-night.

An Italian boy is sending songs to you to-night from an
    accordion.
A Polish boy is out with his best girl; they marry next
    month; to-night they are throwing you kisses.

An old man next door is dreaming over a sheen that sits
    in a cherry tree in his back yard.

The clocks say I must go—I stay here sitting on the
    back porch drinking white thoughts you rain down.

         Shine on, O moon,
Shake out more and more silver changes.

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