a hot wind blows plays
over above about a road
raw sweat is the gift
of the shining summer sun

An original poem written with magnetic poetry

Summer, that awful wonderful time in our youth when we make, break, destroy and live. That period of heat, both meteorological and biological when we explore that chasm between the genders. We experiment with self-abuse, embracing it with our indestructibility as only we can. We all plan to fall in love, we all plan to spend exciting nights that we will never remember, we all plan to live like the movies, damn the consequences, full speed ahead, depravity, debauchery the watchwords of youth. Here's to summer. To cold beer, beautiful girls, to hits from the hash pipe, to racing along the coast at 90 miles an hour in a car only a broke college student could love, to falling in love with someone whose name I will never remember, to drinking till it hurts, to hurting, to writing poetry on the beach, to making a fool out of myself, to living this strange dream, to no regrets.

KANJI: KA GA GE nastu (summer)

ASCII Art Representation:

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Character Etymology:

Originally a written as a person dancing holding a mask. How exactly this character came to mean summer is not clear. Some scholars feel that this character is acting as a phonetic substitute, but others argue that the character's complexity suggests otherwise. Presumably summer was associated with a particular dance or festival and it was from this association that this character came into use.

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: KA GA GE
kun-yomi: natsu

English Definitions:

  1. KA, GA, GE, nastu: summer.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 1120
Henshall: 82

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

初夏 (shoka):
(natsumatsuri): summer festival.
(natsubi): summer day.
(natsukodachi): a grove of in the summer.
夏蜜柑 (natsu mikan): bitter summer orange, Chinese citron.

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Summer is the warmest season of the year between the tropics and the poles. (Indeed, it is the warmest season slightly inside of the tropics, too.) This means that June is a Summer month in the Northern hemisphere, and December is a Summer month in the Southern hemisphere.

The warmth is a combination of two factors: the length of the day, and the altitude the sun reaches above the horizon. The longer the day and the higher the sun, the more heat received per unit area on the Earth's surface.

Near the Equator, Summer solstice and Winter solstice actually have less direct sunlight during the day than the equinoxes, so the common model of the four seasons is of limited use at low latitudes. (Every day on the equator is the same length, however on the solstices the sun does not rise as far above the horizon.)

Currently, aphelion is just a few days from the Northern hemisphere's Summer solstice. This means that when the Northern hemisphere is tipped towards the sun, the Earth is slightly further away, and when it is tipped away the Earth is slightly closer. The distance from the sun has only a small effect on the temperature because the eccentricity of the orbit is close to 1, but it does have some effect - so seasons in the northern hemisphere are marginally milder than in the southern. (Aphelion and perihelion are moving very slowly relative to the solstices and equinoxes, in an effect known as precession of the equinoxes, so this will change in a few thousand years.)

One of a slew of poems written by the Romantic poet John Clare while he was institutionalized in the Northampton County Asylum from 1842 until his death in 1864.

Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come,
For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
And love is burning diamonds in my true lover's breast;

She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair,
And I will to my true lover with a fond request repair;
I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest,
And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.

The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May,
The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day,
And the chaffinch it is brooding on its grey mossy nest
In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover's breast;

I'll lean upon her breast and I'll whisper in her ear
That I cannot get a wink o'sleep for thinking of my dear;
I hunger at my meat and I daily fade away
Like the hedge rose that is broken in the heat of the day.
A short novel by Edith Wharton, written in 1916 and published in 1917. At this time she was permanently resident in France and working for the war effort, but it is set in the hills of Massachusetts, where she had lived and had a love affair a decade before. It combines the rich, lush beauty of summer, with intense and ambiguous emotion and sexuality, and the pitiful destitution she saw among the war wounded and refugees.

Charity Royall lives in the tiny village of North Dormer and has seen little else in her life: one visit to a nearby larger town, which to her seemed as wonderful as Boston or New York could be, and an unremembered blackness over her first five years, before she was brought down from the Mountain. The townsfolk of North Dormer are respectable and as virtuous as they can be in such close confines, but the unspeakable Mountain is some great looming evil where a straggling band of outlaws, almost more Morlock than hillbilly, make a precarious living.

The upright lawyer Mr Royall took her away from that and has brought her up almost as his own. He is learned, but has secrets, or perhaps his fondness for drink is not so secret. He called the girl Charity, and now his wife has died she is his only companion. She views him with a mixture of dislike and respect, chooses to stay with him because of his loneliness, but gets him to get her a job as the librarian so that she is making money of her own. In the previous century North Dormer was home to a minor literary figure, and his moulding, tomb-like collection of books now commemorates him.

Here enters Lucius Harney, a handsome young architect from the city, and a cousin of a lady of the village. He is in the district to do a sketching survey of the old Colonial houses of the district. Summer is the story of the slowly blossoming attraction between Harney and Charity.

It is a love story, but with neither happy ending nor tragedy: it is doubt, compromise, unhappiness, bliss, and deception like real love. Edith Wharton conveys the countryside as beautiful, overwhelming, and potent, and she clearly delineates the complex personalities and insufficiencies of each of her characters. There are no archetypes; it is a tale of people who could have been drawn from life. In some ways it represents her own affair, except that the author was highly sophisticated, where Charity knows how provincial and ignorant she is.

The sometime threatening figure of Mr Royall and the almost monstrous inhabitants of the Mountain bring in much darker notes, reminiscent of incest and abuse. Down in the big town, where Charity visits without being drawn in, we glimpse prostitution and abortion. The contrast with this and the luscious height of summer goes through the whole novel.

This is, perhaps obviously so, mostly derived from my own personal experiences.
As such... your mileage may vary... WIDELY

Remember that feeling of jubilation, that awesome sense of freedom, that would fill you from the tips of your toes to the hair on your head when you would step off of that school bus for the final time for the school year? Remember just running off out into the warm hair, rushing home, backpack filled with the contents of your desk, NO HOMEWORK, and how wonderful that feeling was? The feeling that you'd loved to have bottled up and kept for later?


Yes, for most school-age children in America, that is when summer begins, on that late-May - or, depending on how many snow days you'd had in winter, early-June - day. No matter the actual day of Summer Solstice. That was just something marked on the calendar hanging in the kitchen at home.

No matter how hot, or muggy it got, depending on your geographical area, Summer was truly the greatest season that existed. Three months, give or take, of pure homeworkless bliss; household chores aside, the freedom to do as you chose and sleep as long as you wanted every day. It's like three months of nothing but Saturdays.

Summer isn't about how the Earth is tilted so that your region of the planet is getting more direct sunlight during a particular orbital period. No, it's about approximately 90 days of playtime, of snow cones, ice cream, shooting off and/or watching fireworks around the Fourth, of running through the sprinklers or sun-drenched fields, taking off in the morning after breakfast with your friends and riding bicycles all day until you had to come home when it finally got dark... at 9 P.M.. Say what you want about Daylight Savings Time... that's pretty fuggin cool. But those summer nights... they were, too! I remember summer country nights where I would plunge into a sea of twinkling lightning bugs with a jar, trying to catch as many as I could. Or simply spending them outside with family and friends, drinking something cold, by the bug zapper, just watching those lighting bugs and listening to the songs of the crickets, the croaks of the frogs, the hypnotic, almost lonely song of the whippoorwill, and the little gurgles here and there from the pool's filter.

Yes, let's not forget the POOL! It encompasses an entire subset of summertime bliss. Whether you were fortunate enough to have one in your backyard or you hung out at your town's public pool with friends, not much beats that almost heart-stopping slap of cool as you took your first splash into the water of the season, or that comforting feeling of slipping into the almost bathtub-like warmth of pool water that's had a month and a half to heat up in day-after-day of summer heat. Splashing, diving, or just peacefully sunning on a blow-up raft with nobody else around on a quiet late-morning in July, no sounds but an occasional blip of the water, almost undetectable woo of a weak breeze, and buzzing of nearby pests coming in for a drink, it didn't matter. The pool was cool, both literally and figuratively.

For me, summer was all of those things, but here's a few tidbits that you may or may not be able to relate to. But even if you don't share the exact details, you probably have your own similar little things that you might be reminded of. I remember that summer truly started, the reality would finally sink in, when I would hear the tropical, happy-sounding jingle for Raging Rivers, a nearby water park in Illinois near St. Louis, either along with the commercial on TV or on the radio. Or I would see those commercials for The Muny, St. Louis' outdoor theatre, and hear their jingle, "Meet me at the Muny... the Muny at Forest Park!" I'd usually see these while watching television all morning on those days where I had nothing to do but watch cartoons and The Price is Right, loooooooonnng before Rod Roddy went tits up and Bob Barker retired.

Wait. Back up. Nothing. I had days where I had nothing to do? Nothing? Damn. Do YOU remember the last time you woke up naturally, no alarm clock, and got out of bed, and had NOTHING you had to do?

In fact, the magical happiness of Summer Freedom, of having NOTHING to do (nothing important anyway) almost matches in intensity to that sinking feeling in mid-August that school was coming once again. Remember the frown that would droop down your face, maybe the first one all summer, when you'd start to see those Back-to-School commercials, special sales on clothes, notebooks, pencils, pens... UGH!

Of course things changed when you were getting on in your teen years and you had to have a job. That is, if you wanted to drive and your parents decided to shut off the free money fountain. But still, those part-time jobs still left you with plenty of freedom. Normally you didn't have to take work home with you as many of us do now. You still had no mortgage or kids. Maybe you had a car payment and insurance bills; if you were really lucky you didn't.

But even though you had to show up for 4, or 6, or even 8 hours at a place where you had to serve food or cook food or clean something, in some ways you had more freedom in those days. If you had a car, or if you were cruising with friends who did, you were no longer limited by how far a bicycle could take you. You could go almost anywhere and at almost any time. Even if it was just crusing around time during those summer nights, with the windows, or maybe even the top down, hanging out with friends at all night fast food restaurants (usually the one you worked at, sometimes taunting friends with how much you were off work that night and how much they weren't), or the shopping mall, or, hell, even the town's always-open Super Wal-Mart. Sometimes these nights were spent with with a group of friends. Others, alone, with your girlfriend/boyfriend, making out somewhere secluded, adding more steam to the already steamy summer night.

And let's not forget, work or not, there was still no school! Still no homework! Or books! Or teachers' dirty looks!

My second-best college summer was 1997 (the best was 1995 when I met my future wife). In '97 I got to work at the University's computer lab (my regular job during the school year) because I was taking one night summer session class, a computer art class where I got an 'A' (the only college semester where I got a 4.0 GPA, heh). But the computer lab job was only from 9 AM to 2PM; I had the rest of the day and night for whatever. And the summer began, after the spring semester ended and before the job and class began, with my first trip to Florida, first long road trip, and, for all intents and purposes, pretty much my first trip out of the state of Missouri, and for that I have my wife, her parents, and her parents' car to thank. So it was also the first time seeing the ocean, a real beach, etc. etc. It was truly the last summer I had of copious amounts of freedom. (The summer of '98 I worked as a checker at a grocery store and no longer lived on campus and at a real apartment, so therefore I had a lot more bills to worry about, as well as my impending graduation. Real Life was encroaching. And it encroached completely in the summer of 99 after I graduated and was unemployed and had no money.)

But nevermind all that depressing stuff!

Whether you were still in high school or in your early college years, when maybe you still got to live at home between semesters, it didn't matter. Except if you were in college, those impending responsibilities like rent or house payments and the Full Time Job and Career were closing in fast. So maybe you partied harder, enjoyed the carefree summers you had left while you could!

If only we could step into a holodeck now and relive just one of those summer days or nights, either from our childhood or young adult years. What would you pay for an admission charge for a ride like that??

At one time it was free, though. Hopefully you milked the experiences for all they were worth

The night is devoid of the cacophony of day
replaced by a symphony of bugsound
crickets and other crawling, flying citizens of the night
declaring their readiness to fulfill their biological imperatives.

Fireflies mount the evening breeze
signalling wanton need with phosphorescent intensity
That same breeze as gentle as a teenage first kiss
calling forth memories, memories.

The porch swing creaks as we slowly rock
Companionable silence occasionally interrupted
by comments of no real importance
a simple punctuation to the closeness.

Summer rolls along, not in any particular rush
Fall feels centuries away, but is so close in all reality
Watermelon, children's laughter, warm garden tomatoes, deepening tans
amulets against the future, ineffectual as all such trinkets must finally be.

Sentences begin with "Remember when..."
Scenes play out in our mind's eye, as fresh as yesterday
Senses absorb the warmth, the ambiance, the familiarity
laid up against that time of cold.


rolls out of bed late
leisurely and at her own pace.

She stays in her nightclothes past noon
and refuses to answer the phone.
You can leave a message, but she won't call you back.

She eats fresh fruit and leftover barbecue for lunch
and has ice cream for dessert. Every day.

She spends most of her time on the porch or the Veranda.
She has her ceiling fans running allthetime.

She wears sundresses and sandals in public
barefeet and less
at home.

doesn't let her hair down because she
never put it Up.

The night air was cool
Like the subtle first touch of a lover
That will be gone in the morning
A sweet perfume
Pansies and nostalgia
Water and remembrance
Lingering long
A reminder that
Summer is her name
And it's to be whispered
At this time of night
Lest she awake to soon
It has a weight
Like her head on my chest
Like mine on her breast
She loves me
And I am enamored
Enslaved, enveloped, and entangled
With the very thought of her
I take each breath deep
Deep satisfaction rolling out my lungs
Across my tongue
Past my lips
I breathe back in
Drinking every last drop of her
Drowning in her perfect form
Deliberately I breathe her in again
Like I would with
My lips pressed against hers
Her body
In my arms
Her love
In my heart
Her sex
In my bed
My breath escapes me
Spelling her name
On the horizon
The whispered promise
Of the morning sun
And another day
Under her bright salvation

Sum"mer (?), n. [From Sum, v.]

One who sums; one who casts up an account.


© Webster 1913.

Sum"mer, n. [F. sommier a rafter, the same word as sommier a beast of burden. See Sumpter.] Arch.

A large stone or beam placed horizontally on columns, piers, posts, or the like, serving for various uses. Specifically: (a) The lintel of a door or window. (b) The commencement of a cross vault. (c) A central floor timber, as a girder, or a piece reaching from a wall to a girder. Called also summertree.


© Webster 1913.

Sum"mer, n. [OE. sumer, somer, AS. sumor, sumer; akin to OFries. sumur, D. zomer, OS. sumar, G. sommer, OHG. & Icel. sumar, Dan. sommer, Sw. sommar, W. haf, Zend hama, Skr. sama year. 292.]

The season of the year in which the sun shines most directly upon any region; the warmest period of the year.

⇒ North of the equator summer is popularly taken to include the months of June, July, and August. Astronomically it may be considered, in the northern hemisphere, to begin with the summer solstice, about June 21st, and to end with the autumnal equinox, about September 22d.

Indian summer, in North America, a period of warm weather late in autumn, usually characterized by a clear sky, and by a hazy or smoky appearance of the atmosphere, especially near the horizon. The name is derived probably from the custom of the Indians of using this time in preparation for winter by laying in stores of food. -- Saint Martin's summer. See under Saint. -- Summer bird Zool., the wryneck. [Prov. Eng.] -- Summer colt, the undulating state of the air near the surface of the ground when heated. [Eng.] -- Summer complaint Med., a popular term for any diarrheal disorder occurring in summer, especially when produced by heat and indigestion. -- Summer coot Zool., the American gallinule. [Local, U.S.] -- Summer cypress Bot., an annual plant (Kochia Scoparia) of the Goosefoot family. It has narrow, ciliate, crowded leaves, and is sometimes seen in gardens. -- Summer duck. Zool. (a) The wood duck. /(b) The garganey, or summer teal. See Illust. of Wood duck, under Wood. -- Summer fallow, land uncropped and plowed, etc., during the summer, in order to pulverize the soil and kill the weeds. -- Summer rash Med., prickly heat. See under Prickly. -- Summer sheldrake Zool., the hooded merganser. [Local, U.S.] -- Summer snipe. Zool. (a) The dunlin. (b) The common European sandpiper. (c) The green sandpiper. -- Summer tanager Zool., a singing bird (Piranga rubra) native of the Middle and Southern United States. The male is deep red, the female is yellowish olive above and yellow beneath. Called also summer redbird. -- Summer teal Zool., the blue-winged teal. [Local, U.S.] -- Summer wheat, wheat that is sown in the spring, and matures during the summer following. See Spring wheat. -- Summer yellowbird. Zool. See Yellowbird.


© Webster 1913.

Sum"mer, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Summered (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Summering.]

To pass the summer; to spend the warm season; as, to summer in Switzerland.

The fowls shall summer upon them. Isa. xviii. 6.


© Webster 1913.

Sum"mer, v. t.

To keep or carry through the summer; to feed during the summer; as, to summer stock.


© Webster 1913.

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