A North Indian Summer

They ask of me to write a sonnet fine
In praise of Summer and her pretty dress,
But I hail from a place of different clime
Where Summer’s heat knows best how to oppress.

She raises up the dust from Rajasthan
And like a warrior princess she rides hard,
Across the northern plains of Hindustan
Her wild-haired, wild-eyed, visage scares this bard.

The fevered breezes that she raises fly
Before her, searing grain and grass and trees.
Her scimitar’s a blazing sun raised high
And Life must bow to her desire or cease.

But when Queen Summer’s raging reign has run
Fresh Monsoon comes to heal the hurt she’s done.



Rohini Sunderam is author of Corpoetry – Desert Flower – Five Lives One Day in Bahrain published by Ex-L-Ence Publishing. She is a Canadian of Indian origin, and a semi-retired advertising copywriter. Find out more about her on her blog or on Amazon

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19 Responses

  1. Paul Freeman

    Well personified – a vivid visualisation of summer.

    Thanks for the read, Rohini.

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    People who have not been to India cannot understand the sheer blistering fury of the hot season. Kipling was especially good at describing what happens to visitors who foolishly think that the weather will just be warm and pleasant. Remember the song lyrics:

    “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun.”

  3. Margaret Coats

    A fine sonnet indeed, Rohini. The fierce images in the second and third quatrains absolutely overwhelm the notion of Summer’s “pretty dress” mentioned in the first. The couplet effectively demonstrates how the turn of a Shakespearean-form sonnet can come at the very end. Excellent seasonal piece!

  4. joylennick

    Such beautiful imagery Rohini. I loved it. Here’s a simple one from me:

    A dozen arboreal snow maidens
    grace our concrete street:
    like virginal brides,
    some blushing,
    confetti at their feet.

    Shivering in the late Spring breeze,
    genuflecting in the icy freeze
    they bravely bear Mother Nature’s whims,
    and to beauty, all are hymns.

    Love Joy xx

  5. Tonia Kalouria

    Enjoyed both subject and execution having endured Punjabi summer. Lovely.

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I love this personification of “A North Indian Summer”. I particularly like the strong imagery and the humour in the second stanza and the heat-quenching salvation of the closing couplet. I can wholly relate to every word, being a cool-skinned British woman moving to the fevered heat of Texas. A beautifully composed, highly entertaining poem that speaks to my heart. Thank you, Rohini.

    • Rohini

      As a great admirer of your poetic ability, I am utterly thrilled with your comments. Thank you so much!

  7. Tamara Beryl Latham

    Rohini, if you believe India’s heat is overwhelming you should try Australia and her rainy season, with a significant emphasis on chain and pencil lightning. When I was a little girl I had blisters (my mother called it prickly heat) all over my face, arms and legs from the heat. As a result, I hate hot weather to this day.

    You’ve created a garden of visuals in your sonnet with flowers (interspersed between quatrains) that are representative of fiery summers and monsoon cool-downs. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Rohini

      Thank you, Tamara. I haven’t experienced an Australian summer, but I am in India now and memories of prickly heat are itching on my arms haha


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