Summer awakening

Summer awakening

May
           month of swarming
singing
           mating birds
the bumble-bee month
           the month of the flowering lilac

As I jot this down
           I am out just after sunrise
heading towards the creek
           The lights
the perfumes the melodies
           blue birds and grass birds
and robins in all directions
           the noisy vocal natural concert

For undertones,
           a neighboring woodpecker
tapping his tree
           and the distant clarion of chanticleer

Then the fresh-earth smells
           the colors
the delicate drabs and thin blues
           of the perspective
The bright green of the grass
           has received an added tinge
from the last two days’
           mildness and moisture
How the sun silently mounts
           in the broad clear sky
on its day’s journey!
           How the warm beams bathe all
and come streaming
           kissingly on my face

Now the golden dandelions
           in endless profusion
spotting the ground everywhere
           The white cherry and pear-blows
the wild violets
           with their blue eyes looking up
and saluting my feet
           as I saunter the wood-edge
the rosy blush of budding apple-trees
           the light-clear emerald hue
of the wheat-fields
           the darker green of the rye
a warm elasticity pervading the air
           the cedar-bushes profusely decked
with their little brown apples
           the summer fully awakening
garrulous flocks of blackbirds
           gathering on some tree

Walt Whitman

Adapted by John Lyons from Specimen Days (1882)

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