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Original Poem: "Summer God" with Commentary

Updated on August 24, 2018
Maya Shedd Temple profile image

Writing poetry became my major composing activity circa 1962, and taking a creative writing class in 1963-64 deepened my growing interest.

Lilacs in Our Backyard

Source

Moss Rose

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Autumn Yard

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Snow out my Study Window

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Introduction and Text of "Summer God"

Depending on whichever is one’s favorite season, one can make a case that the others revolve around it. In this case, the speaker clearly favors summer, with spring a close second, and the others just serving the cause of summer. The god of summer smiles and blesses creative souls.

(Please note: The spelling, "rhyme," was introduced into English by Dr. Samuel Johnson through an etymological error. For my explanation for using only the original form, please see "Rime vs Rhyme: An Unfortunate Error.")

My original poem is offering a tribute to the season of summer in five unrimed couplets, as it focuses on the theme, "The summer god has been so prolific that fall has material to work with."

Summer God

Spring lilacs hint at your arrival
As does rain on blades of grass.

All summer you play hide & seek
In the moss rose.

Fall, you play your game of colors
Dazzling me with harvest.

Winter finds you tempering me for the thaw
As the nights grow longer and colder—

Let me make my life a soft, sweet spring
That flows into you, O Divine Beloved Summer!

Commentary

My poem, "Summer God," will appear in my forthcoming collection, "As Tulips Dance and Sway."

First Couplet: Beginning the Focus

Spring lilacs hint at your arrival
As does rain on blades of grass.

The first couplet begins the process of focusing on summer by focusing on spring. Because spring heralds the arrival of summer, the speaker feels that allowing spring to help introduce the main subject is in order. The beauty of spring "hint[s]" at the approaching of the following season.

Without a doubt, the fragrance of lilacs serves to symbolize the spring season; thus it is lilacs that beckon the senses, awaking them to the coming season of summer, as it will furnish ever deeper sensory material. "Rain on blades of grass" also serves as the emblematic herald, as its fecund presence during the spring season motivates the grass to green up from its lazy browns and beiges.

Thus the two spring icons rain and early blooming flowers with grass turning fluorescent serve as the perfect trumpet proclaiming the glory of spring while projecting the coming glory of summer. The god of summer has issued to spring the ability to create magic.

Second Couplet: Teasing the Speaker

All summer you play hide & seek
In the moss rose.

Summer finds the summer god teasing the speaker in the meek, little, delicate portulaca. The succulent leaf-stems of the plant offer a shining symbol of summer as they support the burgeoning blooms of delicate petals.

But the moss rose, as it spreads, will come and go. Those delicate blossoms vanish soon but reappear continually throughout the summer season, until per chance, too much hot sun turns them into stings of their former selves. Still the moss rose, like the lilac in spring, is a perfect iconic reminder that summer consists of the creativity wherein beauty bounds in blissful brightness.

Third Couplet: Dazzled by Colors

Fall, you play your game of colors
Dazzling me with harvest.

Summer’s riotous colors take on a definite transformation in the next season. Fall’s autumnal glory consists of summer’s excesses and exists only because of summer. Without summer, there would be no green grass to turn brown, no green leaves to brown and fall, no harvest to harvest, no flowers to fade. The summer god has been so prolific that fall has material to work with.

If summer is the focal part of the year as a protagonist, then fall is the antagonist, dependent completely on the very fact that summer activity was so creative and active.

Fourth Couplet: The Tempering by Winter

Winter finds you tempering me for the thaw
As the nights grow longer and colder—

The speaker in winter feels "tempered" by the cold that begins its cover. From the summer heat through the fall's cooling, the speaker has experienced a slow change as the winter "nights grow longer and colder."

But this speaker is crediting the summer god with her ability to acclimate to such a winter. The time happens to be winter, but it is still the summer god who is in charge of the speaker’s ability to become accustomed to the cold. The relativity of it all speaks to the importance of what is what, who is who, and how and when things change and for what reason.

Fifth Couplet: Prayer to the Summer God for Blessed Warmth

Let me make my life a soft, sweet spring
That flows into you, O Divine Beloved Summer!

Finally, the speaker addresses to the summer god her prayer: she wants her life to be like spring flowing into summer. She wishes to anticipate the blessedness of warmth, color, and beauty that only summer holds.

While showing a devout appreciation for all the seasons, the speaker nevertheless reveals her soft spot for spring and summer. She prays that her very life yield the fruits of spring and summer as she glides into the total unity with the ultimate Summer God.

Linda Sue Grimes

At SRF Windmill Chapel, Lake Shrine, Los Angeles CA
At SRF Windmill Chapel, Lake Shrine, Los Angeles CA | Source

Life Sketch of Linda Sue Grimes

The following original poem captures the tranquility of my favorite meditation place in Los Angeles, California, the Windmill Chapel at Self-Realization Fellowship's Lake Shrine.

The Windmill Chapel

In the temple of silence
By the lake, we sit
In stillness, meditating
In divine Bliss.

Returning to our daily minds,
We walk out into the sunshine,
And the flowers greet us.

The Literary Life

Born Linda Sue Richardson on January 7, 1946, to Bert and Helen Richardson in Richmond, Indiana, Linda Sue grew up about eight miles south of Richmond in a rustic setting near the Ohio border.

After graduating from Centerville Senior High School in Centerville, Indiana, in 1964, Linda Sue Grimes completed her baccalaureate degree with a major in German at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1967. She married Ronald Grimes on March 10, 1973.

As a writer, Grimes focuses on poetry, short fiction, politics, spirituality, and vegan/vegetarian cooking, which results in her original veggie recipes.

Literary Studies

Although music was her first love, Grimes considers herself primarily a literary specialist as she creates her own poetry, studies the poetry and literary arts of classic writers, and writes commentaries about classic poems.

However, Grimes does continue to express her love of music by writing her own original songs, which she records, accompanying herself on guitar or keyboard. She shares her musical compositions at SOUNDCLOUD.

After completing the PhD degree in British, American, and World Literature with a cognate in Rhetoric/Composition at Ball State University in 1987, Grimes taught English composition in the English Department at BSU as a contractual assistant professor from 1987 until 1999.

Publishing History

Grimes has published poems in many literary journals, including Sonoma Mandala, Rattle, and The Bellingham Review. She has published three books of poems: Singing in the Silence, Command Performance, and Turtle Woman & Other Poems, and a book of fables titled Jiggery-Jee's Eden Valley Stories.

Grimes published her first cookbook in the spring of 2013, titled The Rustic Veggie-Table: 100 Vegan Recipes. She is working on a second cookbook and her fourth book of poems.

Currently, at Owlcation, Grimes (Maya Shedd Temple) posts her poetry commentaries. On LetterPile, she shares her creative writing of poems and short fiction, along with prose commentaries on each piece. She posts recipes resulting from her experimental cooking of vegan/vegetarian dishes. on Delishably. She posts her politically focused pieces at Soapboxie, and her commentaries focusing on music at Spinditty. Pieces on the writing process appear at Hobbylark.

Spirituality

Linda Sue Grimes has been a devotee of Paramahansa Yogananda and a member of his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, since 1978. A Kriyaban since 1979, she has completed the four Kriya Initiations, and she continues to study the teachings and practice the yoga techniques as taught by the great spiritual leader, who is considered to be the "Father of Yoga in the West."

Grimes practices the chants taught by the guru accompanying herself on the harmonium. She serves at her local SRF Meditation Group as one of the chant leaders.

Online Literary Presence

In addition to the contributions of her literary works to Owlcation, LetterPile, and SOUNDCLOUD, Grimes also curates her original creative literary pieces at her literary home, Maya Shedd Temple, on Medium, where she features her creative writing without commentaries. Grimes also maintains an additional online presence on Facebook and Twitter.

© 2016 Linda Sue Grimes

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