What do you think the meaning of the poem Summer Storm by Louis Simpson is?

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Michael Ugulini | (Level 3) Educator

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The meaning of the poem “Summer Storm” by Louis Simpson is that a couple is on the move to move their house to another part of the land. They are lovers but are unmarried. They are in the midst of a torrid love affair. It seems that with their lifestyle they are not welcome where they are and so are on the move to where they can live in peace. It’s as if the ‘summer storm’ is their way of life, which is a storm upon hallowed traditions in the town. They have made love everywhere imaginable – as espoused in the first stanza of this poem.

Therefore, the couple decides they must get to a new location to live - to live their life without being the focus of the eyes of others. They were “Covering as much ground as they were able.” This means they were making love as often as they could, anywhere it seems. It also means they are covering ground to find a new place to live – and to move their home with them.

It, the storm, may be relating to the couple’s sudden love affair, essentially, their love blossoming quickly and passionately.

The lady that comes upon them, in white, represents the purity of marriage. When it talks of her writing to the newspapers, it is as if she’s bemoaning the breakdown of traditions in the town. She is not sold on the modern ways of handling love relationships. Evidently, though, the couple’s love relationship is a beautiful thing because the poet says that, “By Cupid, but they cut some pretty capers!”

The lovers move their house to another locale. The poet says that they are now married in their own home and now they can shut the door and conduct their affairs in private. To the poet/narrator of this poem, now that the couple is married, all is well with the world – Nature has been restored to its proper station and balance.

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