Farewell, Summer: 10 Literary Quotes About Summer

Labor Day is a bittersweet marker in time. On one hand, it marks the beginning of fall—along with all sorts of wonderful things like cooler weather, boots, tweed and hot chocolate.

And yet, alas, that also means summer is coming to an end, and while I won’t miss the truly horrifying D.C. humidity, I do get nostalgic about the long hours of sunshine and childhood days of freedom.

In celebration of a final nod to this season of heat and running free, here are 10 great quotes about summer from literature.

  1. “It was dry, and yet warm with the head of the summer day. I looked at the sky; it was pure: a kindly star twinkled just above the chasm ridge. The dew fell, but with propitious softness; no breeze whispered. Nature seemed to me benign and good: I thought she loved me.”
    —Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre 

  2. “Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon and after their three o’clock naps. And by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer.”
    —Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. “And so we dreamed and loved and planned by fall and winter, and the full flush of the long Southern spring, till the hot winds rolled from the fetid Gulf, till the roses shivered and the still stern sun quivered its awful light over the hills of Atlanta.”
    —W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
  4. “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
    —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  5. “I have only to break into the tightness of a strawberry, and I see summer—its dust and lowering skies.”
    —Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  6. “It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”
    —Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib
  7. “One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”
    ―Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle
  8. In a time when kingdoms come
    Joy is brief as summer’s fun
    Happiness, its race has run
    Then pain stalks in to plunder.”
    —Maya Angelou, Truth is a Whisper
  9. “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”
    —Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
  10. “The summer stretched out the daylight as if on a rack. Each moment was drawn out until its anatomy collapsed. Time broke down. The day progressed in an endless sequence of dead moments.”
    —China Miéville, Perdido Street Station

Bonus Quote:

“What dreadful Hot weather we have!—It keeps one in a continual state of Inelegance.”
―Jane Austen, in a letter to Cassandra Austen
―Also all of us, all through August

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