Poetry Sunday: July by Susan Hartley Swett

There's not much doubt about what month it is here in Southeast Texas as the Fahrenheit thermometers reach toward the century mark - or pass it - every day. It can only be one of two and since this is the first one to feature those days when "heat like a mist veil floats," we know. It must be July. 


by Susan Hartley Swett

When the scarlet cardinal tells
Her dream to the dragon fly,
And the lazy breeze makes a nest in the trees,
And murmurs a lullaby,
It is July.

When the tangled cobweb pulls
The cornflower's cap awry,
And the lilies tall lean over the wall
To bow to the butterfly,
It is July.

When the heat like a mist veil floats,
And poppies flame in the rye,
And the silver note in the streamlet's throat
Has softened almost to a sigh,
It is July.

When the hours are so still that time
Forgets them, and lets them lie
'Neath petals pink till the night stars wink
At the sunset in the sky,
It is July.

When each finger-post by the way
Says that Slumbertown is nigh;
When the grass is tall, and the roses fall,
And nobody wonders why,
It is July.


  1. July always make me long for January!

  2. What a beautiful poem! Too bad July here in Utah isn't quite so beautiful; our temps aren't quite as hot as yours, but in July we do start approaching (and sometimes surpassing) 100 everyday. Ugh. At least the wildfires haven't kicked up yet.

  3. I lived in the South for several years and know about that heat. Now, in New York State, we rarely have those century type temperatures and I can enjoy that poem. The imagery was wonderful. And no, I don't miss our January.

    1. I think your January may be our July and vice versa!

  4. Yes, and July heat isn't our worst heat. It is a gorgeous time of the year.

  5. It's funny reading this, since here in Brazil July is when it starts to get colder, the air biting with a chill that usually goes away by noon (such is the curse of a tropical country! besides, you know. global warming). Still, this poem captures the energy of summer very well! "When the hours are so still that time/Forgets them, and lets them lie" made me remember beach trips were the hours run slow as molasses. Lovely poem!


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