Solitude & Self-Awareness Spiral

Five Ways of Looking at Summer

Today I dream of summer. The sun on my face. The relaxed rhythm of the day. When I was a young teen I remember drifting on the Magnetewan River in a canoe reading for hours. I wrote this poem (inspired by Wallace Stevens) to capture the carefree feeling and the peaceful knowing of having nowhere to be but in a canoe with a great book on a gorgeous summer’s day.


Floating among granite and pine
The only thing she sees
Is her page, shining.


She is of four directions
On a canoe
Under which she imagines four fathoms.


The girl smiles in the rocking waves.
Surrender is an important part of the ritual.


A girl and a book
Are one.
A girl and a book and a river
Are one.


I do not know which to celebrate first:
The sparkle of words
Or the freedom of floating,
The peace of reading, not paddling
Or just summer.

Inspired by “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens. © Jessica Outram

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