Things to Do if You Are a Minnesota Summer [Poetry Friday]

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

It’s the first Friday of the month, so it’s Poetry Princesses Friday! This month was my choice, and I chose the Things to Do form with a seasonal angle. (See page 4 here for a lesson plan.) This is the poetic form of my new book If You Were the Moon and a form I’ve done a lot of over the past few years. Of course, we always mix it up, so different people interpreted that in their own ways. I think you’ll like the variety!

I am NOT really a fan of summer, so to challenge myself, I wrote about summer. 

Things to Do if You Are a Minnesota Summer

Huh. That is kind of small. :>( I wanted to use my image of a couple of people crossing the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota, where the river begins, but I guess I should have cropped it vertically. Oops. Here is the text:


Things to Do if You Are a Minnesota Summer
Arrive fashionably late, say half past July
Wear blooming colors and a clear blue cap
Bring a hostess gift of green
Spritz your signature scent:
sunscreen, campfire, and night jasmine
Skip a golden stripe across the sky
Sketch misty rainbows with your tears
Perform for swarms of adoring fans
Party from dawn to dusk,
     then slip on your spidersilk shawls and
     leave the party early
Ignore those gathered at the door,
     begging you to stay
          just a little while longer
You have other places to be,
     and time
–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved
Don’t forget to check out the other Things to Do poems!


Non-poetry demands are keeping Andi away this month, but she’ll return :>)

Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

And for the delicious Poetry Friday Roundup, visit Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup!











20 Responses

  1. Oh, this is simply wonderful, Laura! I love how you’ve wrapped up the essence of your Minnesota summer and given her such personality and presence. Great alliterative word choice, too–skip, sketch, spritz. A delight from start to finish!

    1. Ours are too hot, too, in my opinion. But not as long as yours…Thanks, Margaret!

  2. I would love to see the faces of children when you present to them and share that summer is not your cup of strawberry juice.
    This poem is ripe with the tease that your summer is, from “arrive fashionably late” to the clever end. Love it.

  3. Hope you don’t mind my sticking my oar in:

    Things to Do if You Are a New England Spring

    Change with the wind,
    jibe across winter,
    tack toward summer,
    set sails scented with hyacinth,
    before veering to look aft
    at the slumbering pines
    as they disappear
    into waking maples.
    Luff leeward,
    sheets flapping:
    pile snow one last time
    after the Canada geese
    honk home. Play
    hide and seek
    with the brown grass.
    Then lower the sails,
    clear the decks,
    swab the rails,
    time to dry dock and
    hit the trails.

  4. Wow, what a great poem. Love the diction, the images, the humor. 🙂 Especially like “blooming colors and a clear blue cap.” Sheer delight.

  5. (LOVE that, Brenda. Your New England spring’s parallels to sailing are quite fitting!)

    I would trade you for a spidersilk shawl a spider, Laura… but somehow, I don’t think that’s quite a fair swap…

  6. Oh how I long for summer. Ours are hot, too, here in Massachusetts, but I love escaping to the ocean to cool down. Thank you, and wonderful job, considering it wasn’t your favorite topic!

  7. I think it would be fascinating to have a collection of poems about summer in different latitudes. Summer seems universal, but it’s so very different depending on how far north or south you are!

  8. I saw images while reading your summer inspired poem, it would be fun to illustrate. I love the “spidersilk shawls.” And Minnesota is lovely in the summer.

  9. Laura, this line stands out for me. Sketch misty rainbows with your tears. The poem is so descriptive and filled with a great visual of your Minnesota summer. I really like the image poem you created and the backdrop is stunning. I want you to know that my daughter unwrapped your beautiful book, If You Were the Moon, at her baby shower. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to read the book to our little one in her nursery.

    Please save this poem for my summer gallery. I would love others to use this format and send me poems from their perspective.

    1. Thanks, Carol! So glad you will be sharing MOON with a baby soon!

      On a side note re your galleries–I’m always happy to contribute, but I don’t always see the announcement, etc. I wonder if it would save you time AND get more submissions if you had a Padlet or a Google Doc or somewhere you could have open for future gallery submissions. That way, when you see one you love, and say something, people could immediately pop the poem into wherever you have available for storage. Just a thought to use or ignore:>)

  10. I love the “swarms of adoring fans.” Ruth,

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