This great poet started his literary career from his early life and his interest in literature takes him to the world of literature. “Summer” is his poem, a short poem that consists of two stanzas. This poem is about a season that we can recognize by looking at the title.

Table of Contents


At the beginning of the poem, Clare states that they will come for the season ‘Summer’ as they all love the season.

“For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
And love is burning diamonds in my true love’s breast;
She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair,”

The woods get filled with bluebells as they are starting to grow from the beginning and the hedge also gets filled with bloom. Thus, the season becomes very fantastic.

Lyrics of the Poem
Lyrics of the Poem

And there is a crow on the oak which is looking like the building that she made for herself. And the love that is there seems like a burning diamond that is in the breasts of the beloved.

Then she sits beneath the whitethorn tree with her beautiful plaiting hair. So, the description of the season is a mould of the poet’s love.

Now the poet is saying that he will request her for the true love that he has for the lady. He will try to repair the crack.

“I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest,
And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.”

The poet will look upon her with an aggressive eye and then he says that he wants to take rest on the breasts of the beloved. When he lay down asleep his aching tiredness will be vanished because of the soft breasts.

So, this not only talks about the Summer but also talks about the romantic imagination that the poem has in his mind.

“The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May,
The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day,
And the chaffinch is brooding on its grey mossy nest
In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover’s breast;”

Now the clock is indicating the season is ‘May’ and creeping blooms are growing up. On the other hand, the merry bees are flying over sky all the day.

And then the Chaffin is brooding on its grey mossy nest. So, these all are descriptions that are happening in the summer. There is also a whitethorn bush where the poet will be leaning the breasts of the beloved. Probably this line indicates a bit of sexuality as he wants to see the breasts.

When the poet will lean her beasts he will further whisper on-ear that his eyes have forgotten to flash on and sleep is gone for the time that is why he wants to think about his dear.

The poet has a hunger that he can get every day and that is why the poet wants to pause his hunger and wants to enjoy the season. This would be like a rose has broken a hedge of a day. This is how the poem is ending here.


This poem tells the readers about the beautiful season of Summer from where the flowers and fruits get risen from buds. Then the poet goes into a deeper analysis where he wants the beloved’s breasts to sleep.

He will enjoy the season by sleeping there in peace. Later, Clare explains that when nature will have restarted he will lean on the breasts of the beloved and will look after it.

Nature in Summer
Nature in Summer

This is not about sexuality but peace. They will look after it and his sleep will go after taking up a look. So, John Clare focuses on beauty rather than sexuality.


The major theme that comes in the poem is the restoration of a season. In Summer everything uses to get started from the very beginning which is very beautiful to see. Then comes the description of the beloved.

The poet also tries to say that the breasts are very beautiful and that is why his sexual hunger can be controlled. All, beautification of nature also comes as a theme.

Literary Devices

Rhetorics or figures of speech are very important parts of a poem. By using rhetorics a poet makes a poet much better for reading. Here, John Clare uses many devices but before that comes the rhyming pattern.

Here the rhyming pattern is “aabbccdd eeffgghh”

As a literary device first comes a Metaphor that is being used to the state of something else by using a line.

“The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom”

By this line, the poet is trying to speak of the season ‘Summer’.

Oxymoron is also a device that prefers two opposite words are written along with each other to express a particular sense like,

“Hedge rose”

Anaphora is another literary device that refers to the repetition of the same words in the starting of two lines one after another,

“And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
And love is burning diamonds…”

Alliteration comes after that and refers to the repetition of the same sounds used in a single line.

“The clock-a-clay is creeping”

Here, the ‘c’ sound is repeated many times.

Except for all, some minor devices remain like symbolism, imagery, etc.