Still determined to be summery, our poem this week comes from John Keats, On the Grasshopper and Cricket.
You might not imagine it at first from the summery spirit of the poem, but Keats penned On the Grasshopper and Cricket “on a lone winter evening” in the depths of December, 1816.
Keats was just 21 at the time, and wrote the poem in response to a competition with his great friend Leigh Hunt, as to who could write the best verse on a particular subject in the shortest time. Keats reportedly won on this occasion but humbly contested that he preferred his companion’s efforts to his own.
The poem is thick with the green and blooming imagery of “summer luxury”, so much so the reader can almost feel the drowsiness and warmth of the hot sun. For Keats the atmosphere is captured through the music of summer sounds, the song of insects trickling through the hedges and over grassy hills.