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Friday, August 29, 2014

The Joys Of Summer

(If you must have politics, please scroll down to the open thread, the blog post just below this one)

Ah!  The joyful memories of summer! (with thanks to Duck, who took the photo and emailed me the jpeg):

Fountain (July 24, 2014)

See more of Duck's photographic art at Duck's Flickr page.

"End of Summer" by Stanley Kunitz:
An agitation of the air,
A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.

I stood in the disenchanted field
Amid the stubble and the stones,
Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me
The song of my marrow-bones.

Blue poured into summer blue,
A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,
The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew
That part of my life was over.

Already the iron door of the north
Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows
Order their populations forth,
And a cruel wind blows.
Frank Sinatra's "The Summer Wind" (1966):


  1. I like the photo, and enjoyed Frank Sinatra very much. Oh how much more pleasant were causal evenings 'out' when Frankie's voice rang out from the jukeboxes and sound systems of burger joints, small cafes and large seafood restaurants on the boardwalk!

    I didn't like the poem all that much. It's well-crafted, but like most "modern" things it's such a downer.

  2. I taste a liquor never brewed
    From tankards scooped in pearl.
    Not all the vats along the Rhine
    Yield such an alcohol.

    Inebriate of air am I
    And debauché of dew
    Reeling through endless summer days
    From inns of molten blue.

    Not till the landlord turns the bee
    Out of the foxglove's door.
    Till butterflies renounce their drams
    I shall but drink the more.

    When seraphs swing their snow hats
    And saints yo windows run
    To see the little tippler
    Leaning against the sun.

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

    Now THAT really captures the glorious essence -- the exultation -- of summer. And that from a lady most noted for her eloquent expressions of mourning, and probing, grief-stricken introspection.

    Laughter means nothing without tears.

    "Grief is the price we pay for love," as Queen Elizabeth II recently said.

    Oh yes, and Death is the Price we pay for Life. In the meantime, however, life is meant for celebration of all that is good, fine, noble, sincere and joyful. Our time is too precious to waste on self-pity, anger, anxiety, resentment and recriminations.

  3. We used to take "the El" downtown on hot summer days to play in the fountains.

    "Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well" George RR Martin

    1. Take a look at Victor Herbert's TOYLAND. He captures that poignant feeling of nostalgia very well.

      Toyland! Toyland!
      Dear little girl and boy land.
      Once you leave it's borders
      You may never return again.

  4. Always, remember those little puckered sun suits that tied on our shoulders and we'd get to run through sprinklers in the front yard? Did you do that, too:? We little girls did and it was like the thrill of our day! Squealing with joy and cooling off.
    meanwhile, we're now facing a situation where instructions for bubonic plague creation has been found Islamist computers. As if that's the worst of it when we're dealing with humans who have it in them to BEHEAD.
    I wishing I could go run in the sprinklers... :-)

    1. Darcy Dumont de la Mer says

      Well go ahead and do it, before the authorities force homeowners to turn the water off. Get every last second of enjoyment out of life you possibly can before the plague hits, or the bombs start dropping, or the Axe falls, as it must for all of us sooner or later.

    2. Excellent points, Darcy. I live in California, so sprinklers are not going on for long every day, believe me! And yes....we need to be aware and pray hard that Obama doesn't do more to put us in harm's way. Maybe he'll even tell the whole world he DOES have a strategy and outline it in public, too....so enemies can be one up on us again...ya think? :-)

  5. It is effective for such a simple photo. Refreshing, care free but yes, as FT and AOW point out, ultimately transient.

    Run through the spray if you get a chance, z.
    It's a good antidote for fear.

    1. Do you have a special waterproof camera for underwater shots? If not, I don't know how you could have resisted the impulse to join the kids under the spray.

      In NYC they sometimes opened up some of the fire hydrants for the kids in the Dog Days of summer, but we never saw such an elegant spray as you, apparently, have in Boston, unless we went to the Bethesda Fountain at the south end of Central Park, but no one was allowed to play in the water there.

      Sprinklers on the lawn in the suburbs were another matter altogether. Everybody had one, and we all had fun running in and out of "spurting range." Parents often joined in. Lots of laughter. Good memories.

    2. Sorry, too smart not to be aware. I'm not fearful; I have faith. But I wish I could be like you and still believe no islamists want to kill Americans. Oh, how lovely to be that clueless. I wish.

  6. Nice pictures over there.
    Nice poetry over here.

  7. Picture looks like something by Georges Seurat only in black and white.

    -Phil Libuster

  8. Summer, you old Indian summer

    You're the tear that comes after June-time's laughter
You see so many dreams that don't come true
Dreams we fashioned when summertime was new
    You are here to watch over some heart

    That is broken by a word that somebody left unspoken
You're the ghost of a romance in June going astray
Fading too soon, that's why I say
    Farewell to you, Indian summer
    You are here to watch over a heart
That is broken by a word that somebody left unspoken

    You're the ghost of a romance in June going astray
Fading too soon, that's why I say
    Farewell to you, Indian summer

    You old Indian summer

    ~ Al Dubin set to music by Victor Herbert

    Glenn Miller and his orchestra:


    Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra


    Coleman Hawkins (saxophone solo with jazz combo)


    Chet Baker (trumpet solo with jazz combo)


    1. FT,
      I look forward to Indian Summer. The moon is usually glorious then.

  9. _______ To An Autumn Leaf _______

    Tempting though it be to mourn your loss,
    O, Precious Leaf, just fallen from the tree,
    A bit of lore may help us to stay free ––
    Not abraded by Grief’s splintery Cross:

    A leaf can’t drop, until a new one starts
    Underneath its fastening to form
    The bud that proves Renewal is the norm ––
    Unceasing, even as old life departs.

    Melancholy though the fall may seem,
    Nonetheless it nourishes the tree.
    Loose leaves join soil to provide energy.
    Eager to join next springtime’s hope-filled dream.

    All living things come to us from the Past,
    For Life, infinitely adaptive, is made to last.

    ~ FreeThinke

    1. FT,
      I associate fall with raking leaves. I find leaf-raking an odious task -- especially since we may no longer burn the leaves.

      Back in the day, we had great fires to enjoy. Roasted marshmallows!

  10. Such a JOYFUL picture. I've gone to Duckys photostream before when a link was shared. Duck, you are quite good - really capturing the essence. The ability to capture and translate life from color to grayscale and express a story in each image is truly a gift to the rest of us.

    We used to run through the sprinklers too as kids. Fortunately, I am close enough to the beach to hike down there. Nothing beats walking barefoot through the surf. Man! That brings you back to life after a long day.

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Baysider.
      I'm happy that you enjoy my photos.

  11. ah summer almost gone..sigh~! hugzzzzzzz AOW!


  12. August

    by John Updike

    The sprinkler twirls.
    The summer wanes.
    The pavement wears
    Popsicle stains.

    The playground grass
    Is worn to dust.
    The weary swings
    Creak, creak with rust.

    The trees are bored
    With being green.
    Some people leave
    The local scene

    And go to seaside
    And take off nearly
    All their clothes.

  13. My best Summer times were at my Grandparents old house in downtown; they had about an acre of land, a rambling two-story house, and in the early evening my parents and my brothers and the neighbors would sit out back on the lawn in chairs, chatting. I would frequently occupy the rope swing which hanged from a stolen old oak branch.

    Good times. The best.


  14. Summer is nice, even fun, at times. Early fall and late spring however are by far more pleasurable.

    Regardless of preference one can always look to the next visiting of their favorite season(s).

    And so it has been, and so it shall continue, throughout time.

    Ahh, life is good. It can be grand. Irrespective of the season if you but let it be so.

    1. RN,
      Depends on the summer.

      Summer 2014 has been more like early fall than our typical summers.

    2. The best part of summer is my school break. :^)

  15. Duck,
    Thank you for granting me permission to use your photographs.


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