The Poetry 180 Web site, a creation of Billy Collins, who recently completed two terms as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress, offers several poems dedicated to the warmest season of the year. In "The Summer I Was Sixteen," Geraldine Connolly remembers fondly how she "danced to the low beat of 'Duke of Earl,'" "gobbled cotton candy torches" and "rubbed baby oil with iodine across sunburned shoulders, tossing a glance through the chain link at an improbable world." Other "summer poems" are "Summer in a Small Town" and "The Summer Day."
Two children headed for summer camp (above) in a charming ca. 1905 photograph from the Chicago Daily News. They are curiously seen with tags attached to their clothing, but the caption offers no explanation as to the reason. Maybe to make sure the kids were returned to the proper parents? Or that their clothes came back with them? This image and more than 55,000 others from the Chicago Daily News are in "Photographs from the Chicago Daily News:1902-1933."
A May 27, 1861, letter to Abraham Lincoln invites him to spend the summer at the National Hotel in Long Branch, New Jersey. "Allow me the Honor of Tendering to yourself.", says D.P.P. Peters, the proprietor. "Having refurnished [the hotel] I flatter myself that I am fully competent to give yourself and suit such Entertainment as would be required, which I shall most Cheerfully do."
You can go "Strolling with Your Summer Girl" (above) while someone plays Lew P. Bendernagel's 1906 song. More than 3,000 19th and early 20th century American sheet music songs are available in "Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920," music that will take you back to another era of American music.
A. Chicago Daily News Inc., photographer, [Girl and boy holding parcels and wearing tags, before leaving for summer camp], ca. 1905. Reproduction information: Reproduction No.: DN-0002588. From the Chicago Historical Society. This image is not in the Library of Congress. For additional information, go to the Chicago Historical Society.
B. Lew P. Bendernagel, "Strolling with Your Summer Girl; Summer waltz song," 1906. Reproduction information: Call/Reproduction No.: Music A-2693. From the Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library, Duke University. This sheet music is not in the Library of Congress. For additional information, go to Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library, Duke University.