poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

occasions

About this Poem 

“August” was published in A Branch of May (Cushings & Bailey, 1887). 

August

No wind, no bird. The river flames like brass.
On either side, smitten as with a spell
Of silence, brood the fields. In the deep grass,
Edging the dusty roads, lie as they fell
Handfuls of shriveled leaves from tree and bush.
But ’long the orchard fence and at the gate,
Thrusting their saffron torches through the hush,
Wild lilies blaze, and bees hum soon and late.
Rust-colored the tall straggling briar, not one
Rose left. The spider sets its loom up there
Close to the roots, and spins out in the sun
A silken web from twig to twig. The air
Is full of hot rank scents. Upon the hill
Drifts the noon’s single cloud, white, glaring, still.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 22, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 22, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Lizette Woodworth Reese

Lizette Woodworth Reese was born in Maryland in 1856. She was named poet laureate of Maryland in 1931. Her books include A Branch of May (1887) and A Wayside Lute (1909). Reese died in 1935. 

by this poet

poem
A Colonial Custom

Bathsheba came out to the sun,
Out to our wallèd cherry-trees;
The tears adown her cheek did run,
Bathsheba standing in the sun,
Telling the bees.

My mother had that moment died;
Unknowing, sped I to the trees,
And plucked Bathsheba’s hand aside;
Then caught the name that there she
poem

Old loveliness, set in the country wind,
Or down some vain town road the careless tread,
Like hush of candles lighted for the dead,
That look of yours, half seeing and half blind.
Still do you strain at door, but we come not,
The little maids, the lads, bone of your bone;
In some sad

poem
Stumble to silence, all you uneasy things, 
That pack the day with bluster and with fret.
For here is music at each window set;
Here is a cup which drips with all the springs
That ever bud a cowslip flower; a roof
To shelter till the argent weathers break;
A candle with enough of light to make
My courage bright