Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Summer Sun


Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy's inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Gold Star - 10,094 Points * Sunprincess * (6/21/2014 2:12:00 PM)

    .....from the mind of a great poet....comes a beautiful composition of the summer sun....loved reading this one... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Nicholas Gascoyne (6/6/2014 8:27:00 PM)

    the first stanza (second line) was written wrong. it said Through empty heaven with repose. The real poem says Through empty heaven without repose (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 22 Points Corrina Kavea (6/30/2012 6:14:00 PM)

    The sun here reminds me of the Son of God the bearer of tidings and great joy. There is no place he cannot go and the testifier of the Son has a glory to permeate all darkness. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Carlos Echeverria (6/21/2012 10:41:00 AM)

    The sun's power has been and always will be a source of inspiration for artists (and blog commenters) , we can only give thanks while it shines. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 18 Points Ian Fraser (6/22/2011 1:13:00 PM)

    This is one of the most delightful of all children's poems. I have read it to two generations of children and they have always enjoyed it. It is the perfect example of a simple conceit elegantly maintained. Stevenson was one of the finest writers for children - some would say the finest - and is just as entertaining today as 120 years ago. I wish I could remember who it was who said that writing for children needed to be the same as for adults only better! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Terence George Craddock (6/21/2010 10:20:00 AM)

    ‘Summer Sun’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, is is a beautiful poem of five stanzas of four lines each, written in rhyming quatrains of simple paired rhyming couplets. Stevenson writing with a master’s touch, creates a rhyme scheme which is not predictable. The poem is enclosed within a brief description of the universal nature of the sun. The poem begins ‘Great is the sun, and wide he goes /Through empty heaven with repose; ’ which accurately describes the sun within the solar system, and concludes ‘The gardener of the World, he goes’; to illustrate that the sun’s journey makes him, the sun personified, the world’s gardener, on a global journey.
    ‘Summer Sun’ focuses predominantly upon the exploits of the sun indoors first within a house, as we follow the sun’s adventures stealing through blinds into the parlour, poking through a keyhole to gladden an attic; then off to smile into a hay-loft. The garden is next investigated, then sheds, the secret places of ‘the ivy's inmost nook’, before we are swept off on new adventures ‘Above the hills, along the blue’ horizon. The sun’s purpose as stated of happily spreading joy throughout the world, is continued with the wonderful line ‘To please the child, to paint the rose’.
    In contrast Stevenson’s poem ‘The Summer Sun Shone Round Me’ in setting remains pastoral, while ‘The Sun’s Travels’ again contain a mixture of indoor and outdoor settings.

    THE SUN is not a-bed, when I
    At night upon my pillow lie;
    Still round the earth his way he takes,
    And morning after morning makes.

    Personification and scientific knowledge intermix, the sun is about in daylight while the narrator is a-bed at night upon his pillow. The sun continues perpetually ‘morning after morning’ in constant travel, but again Stevenson’s purpose is not a discourse in science, but clearly to write unique poetic sketches to entertain readers. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (6/21/2010 5:44:00 AM)

    Nice cosy Victorian verse which assumes the World ends at the shores of temperate Britain. A parallel poem should be written (a la Blake's Songs) in which the sun's destructive powers are described. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 459 Points Ramesh T A (6/21/2010 2:54:00 AM)

    Interesting Summer woe about Sun's valour is wonderfully expressed in this beautiful poem! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 763 Points Jasbir Chatterjee (6/22/2009 10:20:00 AM)

    Yet he will find a chink or two, To slip his golden fingers through.' These are the lines that I like the most. As though Sun is a little boy! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie William Rodenberg (6/21/2009 4:32:00 PM)

    exellent personification from this poet. upon reflection and observation of the sun one understands and relates to evrything this man is writing. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Dimitris(Jimmy) Psachos (6/21/2007 6:50:00 PM)

    What a fantasy and rime this guy possesed! I haven't heard such a marvellous description of the sun before. GREAT storyteller with a poignant poetic style, though not sharp enough... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 261 Points Marilyn Lott (6/21/2007 9:30:00 AM)

    I love how his poems are filled with
    a joy of nature. He had a wonderful
    and refreshing style!

    Marilyn (Report) Reply

Read all 19 comments »

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