Poetry in Motion – Remembering Summer by W.S.Merwin

Remembering Summer

P.S. Last Line:  I can sit here now still listening to it

The title of this poem is “Remembering Summer” and the author is W.S. Merwin. I found this poem on the R train(line).  My initial reaction to reading this poem is that it gives off a very refreshing vibe. When I read anything, I often visualize in my mind, so when I was visualizing this poem, the scenery and the things the speaker describes puts me in a very happy and relaxed mood. Also, when I saw the author’s name, it seemed very familiar to me because it is written by the same author of the poem, “The Lonely Child.” The visual art that accompanies the house is a white lily and a tree branch. I think this particular poem was chosen for subway riders to read because it has a very refreshing feel to it. Many subway riders are really busy, either heading to work, school, etc., but when they read the poem, they will feel calm.  I think the speaker is a woman and the subject of the poem is the delights of summer. The theme that the poem explores is that summer is the best season because, to the speaker, summer is a very relaxing and peaceful time. For example, the poem states, “and the light getting longer in the valley/the sound of a bell from down there somewhere/I can sit here now still listening to it” (Lines 10-12). This shows that the speaker is very relaxed or calm sitting in a valley and listening to the sounds of bells while watching “the light getting longer.” Some questions I have about the poem is why the speaker could never get warm during the winter and who the old lady in the beginning of the poem was.

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