June 1, 2022

Prompt: August Defined

Image by borislagosbarrera - Pixabay

The word "august" means respected and impressive, as in "she was in august company." The calendar month was originally named Sextilis in Latin because it was the 6th month in the original ten-month Roman calendar, but it was renamed in honor of Emperor Augustus in 8 BC.

Lawrence Dunbar's poem "In August" is a listing of things he would do in the month.

When August days are hot an’ dry,
When burning copper is the sky,
I‘d rather fish than feast or fly
In airy realms serene and high.

I‘d take a suit not made for looks,
Some easily digested books,
Some flies, some lines, some bait, some hooks,
Then would I seek the bays and brooks...

For this call for submissions, we want poems that define the month of August through one thing. 

"Blackberry-Picking" by Seamus Heaney focuses on one August thing and yet the poem ultimately is about this late part of summer when the berries, like summer, would end. He says "Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not."

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.

This second call for submissions for our double July/August issue, asks you for a poem that defines August through one thing - an event, a word, a memory. For half the planet, it's the end of summer, but if you are submitting from the Southern Hemisphere you might send us a poem about August winter.

Because of our double-prompt/double-issue this summer, be sure to indicate in the subject line of your email for this prompt submission August.

Submissions will be accepted now through July 31.

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