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On some cool days, we wear wool
because of the breeze,
with a little sneeze,
like the wind will never freeze.
The chatter of the trees,
the red of the leaves
that have flooded the streets
like a stream,
like a dream,
with some steam.

Additional Resources

Summary & Analysis
Discussion Questions

Summary & Analysis

The poem “Summer to Fall” is a poem written by Clark Liu, age nine. This poem is written with one stanza consisting of ten lines. The voice employs the first person “we.” It tells the story of a group of people experiencing the effects of fall, including the cool breeze and the sound of leaves whooshing quickly around them.

How does this writer play with poetic forms?

Although the lines are all grouped together in one stanza, there are three sections divided by their direct rhymes. The first line features two rhyming halves for emphasis: “On some cool days, we wear wool.” Liu is playing with the “ool” sound here, and the line pops out because of the rhyme within the line itself (internal rhyme). The texture and idea of wool makes readers feel cozy on Liu’s cool fall day. The way that the word “wool” is formed in our mouths can feel fuzzy like a sweater.

The second rhymed section of the poem focuses on the “eeze” or “ees” rhymes. The emphasis on the “ee” sound makes a reader feels as though they are caught in the breeze or “the chatter of the trees.” Readers feel enshrouded by the fall trees which are changing colors and dropping their leaves.

The last section consists of the last three lines. Here, Liu focuses on the “eem” sound, using stream, dream, and steam for extra emphasis at the end. We can surmise that the action from the trees, with the chatter and the dropping leaves, has created a steam that can’t be quieted.

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Discussion Questions

    • • Why might Liu begin the poem with the collective “we”? Why isn’t this pronoun used again in the poem?
    • • A simile is a comparison using either “like” or “as.” Can you any similes in this work?

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