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Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter: Poems, Quotes, and Metaphors for the Four Seasons

I'm an author of a book of essays. My poems, essays, and short fiction have appeared in magazines and anthologies.

The four seasons are spring, summer, fall (autumn), and winter.

The four seasons are spring, summer, fall (autumn), and winter.

How Are the Seasons Determined?

Around the world, the year is divided into four seasons: spring, summer, autumn (fall), and winter.

The date on which each season begins depends on whether you are using the astronomical divisions or the meteorological divisions. It also depends on which hemisphere—the Northern or the Southern—you are referencing. (The seasons are opposite in the two hemispheres.)

  • The meteorological seasons are based on weather conditions, temperatures, and the length of the day as determined by the number of hours between sunrise and sunset.
  • The astronomical seasons are based on the date of the equinoxes and the solstices, which are determined by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The date varies slightly from year to year.

The solstices mark the longest and shortest days (hours of sunlight on Earth). The equinoxes mark the day when the hours of sunlight begin to increase or decrease.

Most countries in the world divide the seasons as shown in the chart below.

Northern Hemisphere/Southern HemisphereMeteorologicalAstrologicalEquinox/Solstice


March 1 to May 31

March equinox (which occurs on 3/20 to 3/23) to June solstice

Sun moves north over celestial equator


June 1 to August 31

June solstice (which occurs on June 20 to 22) to September equinox

Sun is furthest from equator with axis tilted toward sun


September 1 to November 30

September equinox (which occurs on 9/21 to 9/24) to December solstice

Earth's axis is perpendicular to an imaginary line from center of Earth to the sun


December 1 to February 28 (29 in a Leap Year)

December solstice (which occurs on 12/20 to 12/23) to March equinox

Sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn

Note: In Ireland, the seasons are divided according to the Celtic calendar: Spring begins on February 1, summer begins on May 1, autumn begins on August 1, and winter begins on November 1.

Crocuses are always a welcome sign of spring.

Crocuses are always a welcome sign of spring.

What Are Some Thoughts About Spring?

Spring is a time of transition. The cold has not yet entirely gone; the warmth has not yet entirely arrived.

Spring may be the most eagerly awaited season. After the harsh winter weather of cold temperatures, snow and ice, dormancy, and darkness, the arrival of spring signals rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, revitalization, and resurrection. It is a time of hope and joyfulness, a time of beginnings, a time of energy and vigor.

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

— African Proverb

Robin Williams (Actor, Director, Comedian)
Spring is Nature’s way of saying, "Let’s Party."

Virgil (Ancient Roman Poet)
Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.

Alfred Lord Tennyson (Poet, Quoted From "Locksley Hall")
In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

William Shakespeare (Playwright and Poet)
April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.

Thomas Blackburn (Author, Songwriter, Quoted From "An Easter Hymn")
Awake, thou wintry earth-
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!

Robert Frost (Poet)
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day

Charles Dickens (Author)
Spring is the time of the year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.

While most people greet spring with joy, some take a more melancholy view. T.S. Eliot began his poem "The Wasteland" by calling April "the cruelest month" because the hope that is awakened in spring may be false hope that may never be realized. Winter numbs and buries our pain; spring brings the possibility of disappointment.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

To find more poems about spring, click here.

Bright yellow sunflowers are as bright as the summer sun.

Bright yellow sunflowers are as bright as the summer sun.

What Are Some Thoughts About Summer?

Summer is glorious. It is associated with abundance, fulfillment, and happiness.

It’s a time to enjoy walks in the park, picnics in a field, a hike in the woods, or a day at the beach. The sun is hot; the days are long; the earth is bursting with color and life. The flirtations of spring ripen into the romances of summer.

The heat brings a feeling of languidness. We give ourselves permission to be a little lazy. It is the season of summer vacations.

If there is any problem with summer, it is too short. As William Shakespeare said, "Summer’s lease hath all too short a date."

Summertime and the living is easy.

— George Gershwin from Porgy and Bess

William Shakespeare (Playwright and Poet, Quoted From Sonnet 18)
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Kellie Elmore (Author)
I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanky.

James Russell Lowell (Poet)
What is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days

Ada Louise Huxtable (Writer)
Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.

Aristotle (Ancient Greek Philosopher)
One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy

John Lubbock (Baron, Banker, Naturalist)
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.

Robert Louis Stevenson: Bed in Summer (Author)
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

James Dent (Writer)
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken

To find more poems about summer, click here.

The leaves turn many shades of gold, red, and orange in the fall.

The leaves turn many shades of gold, red, and orange in the fall.

What Are Some Thoughts About Autumn?

Autumn is a season of mixed emotions. The season is tinged with the sadness of the passing of summer, yet full of rejoicing for the harvest. The joys of the season are all the more keenly felt because we know that winter will soon hold us in its icy jaws.

It is a time to savor the last few days of pleasant weather before winter overtakes the world. The sometimes oppressive heat of summer gives way to the crisp clear days of fall. There is the last burst of warmth with Indian Summer and then the days get progressively colder. The flowers have faded, but for a few short weeks autumn brightens with its own riotous color as the leaves turn from green to gold, orange, and red. When the leaves fall from the trees, winter begins in earnest.

Autumn is the hush before winter.

— French Proverb

Faith Baldwin (Author)

Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.

Thomas Moore (Irish Poet and Songwriter)
Yet the vineyard’s ruby treasures
Brighten Autumn’s sob’rer time

Albert Camus (Author)
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

Samuel Butler (Author)
Autumn is the mellower season,
and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.

John Greenleaf Whittier (Poet)
Once more the liberal year laughs out
O'er richer stores than gems or gold:
Once more with harvest song and shout
Is nature's boldest triumph told.

Shiki (Japanese Poet)
autumn is leaving—
tugging each others' branches
two pine trees

A Children’s Song of the 1880s
Come said the wind to
the leaves one day,
Come o're the meadows
and we will play.
Put on your dresses
scarlet and gold,
For summer is gone
and the days grow cold.

I Love Fall (Author Unknown)
I love fall! Fall is exciting.
It's apples and cider.
It's an airborne spider.
It's pumpkins in bins.
It's burrs on dog's chins.
It's wind blowing leaves.
It's chilly red knees.
It's nuts on the ground.
It's a crisp dry sound.
It's green leaves turning
And the smell of them burning.
It's clouds in the sky.
It's fall. That's why...
I love fall

To find more poems about fall, click here.

The landscape in winter is shades of grey and white.

The landscape in winter is shades of grey and white.

What Are Some Thoughts About Winter?

Winter is a time of dormancy. In winter it may seem like all of nature is dead and lifeless, but the world is merely resting. Beneath the surface life persists, awaiting the spring, when it will once again burst forth. The world rests and so does the human soul. Winter is a time for quiet contemplation; a time to slow down and conserve one’s energy.

Winter has a stark kind of beauty. All of nature is stripped down to its bare bones. It's a still life painted in white and grey.

Winter is a test of endurance. Sometimes, it feels like the only good thing about winter is that it eventually ends and is followed by spring.

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

Andrew Wyeth (Painter)
[In winter] you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.

John Updike (Writer, "A Child’s Calendar: January")
The days are short
The sun a spark
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Edith Sitwell (Poet)
Winter is the time for comfort, for
good food and warmth, for the touch
of a friendly hand and for a talk beside
the fire: it is the time for home.

Ogden Nash (Poet)
Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snowmen
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.
Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That’s the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue.
Snow is snowy when it’s snowing,
I’m sorry it’s slushy when it’s going.

To find more poems about winter, click here.

Do you have a favorite season or do you feel, like Thomas Moore, the Irish poet and songwriter, that "Every season hath its pleasures"?

William Browne (Poet)
There is no season such delight can bring,
As summer, autumn, winter and the spring.

Yoko Ono (Singer, Songwriter, Artist)
Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.

Each season has something to offer.

Each season has something to offer.

Questions & Answers

Question: I'm looking for a poem or phrase that describes the seasons in short form; i.e., spring is ---, summer --- fall ----, but WINTER KILLS. Can you source?

Answer: You are probably referring to this epigraph by the novelist Richard Condon. He cites an imaginary book, "The Keener's Manual," as the source for this and other epigraphs.

"Minutes trudge,

Hours run,

Years fly,

Decades stun.

Spring seduces,

Summer thrills,

Autumn sates,

Winter kills."

Question: What is a metaphor for winter?

Answer: Winter is used as a metaphor for an emotional state. The seasons can be used as metaphors. I don't think it works in reverse.

Question: Can you tell me about the symbolism of the seasons?

Answer: Poets and other writers frequently use the seasons to evoke emotion.

The most common imagery associated with Spring is birth (or rebirth) and beginnings. The emotions associated with Spring are hope and joy.

The most common imagery associated with Summer is fruition, abundance, fullness, and warmth. And because Summer is hot it brings sultriness and laziness to mind.

The Fall symbolizes completion, endings, and impending change (for the worse). It is a time for reflection. The feeling associated with Fall is sadness because the ease of Summer is giving way to the harshness of Winter.

Winter symbolizes death, barrenness, and emptiness. The emotions associated with Winter are coldness, emptiness, and loneliness.

Of course, these are only a few of moods and symbols of each of the seasons. Look at the poems and sayings in this article and see how the authors used the seasons to evoke mood and emotion specific to each season.

Question: Can you tell me about the stories or books that have used spring and winter as a symbol or metaphor?

Answer: I had to do a little research for this one. I have come up with some websites that list novels that take place during different seasons. I'm sure if you read these books you will find that the season symbolizes the themes of the novel.

I think it is fun to read a novel that takes place in the season you are currently experiencing.

For Winter, check this website:

For Spring, check this website:

You didn't ask about Summer and Fall, but while I was at it, I found some books for those seasons also.

For Summer:

And for Fall:

You can find more if you just google "Novels that take place [season]."

© 2015 Catherine Giordano

I welcome your comments.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on July 19, 2018:

Mypleasure. I am so glad you found it helpful.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on March 25, 2015:

ThanksMelRootsWrites I just came back from picking some roses from my garden. spring seems to be everybody's favorite tie of year judging by the responses to the poll. .

Melody Lassalle from California on March 25, 2015:

This is a lovely collection of poems and quotes, Catherine! Spring is my favorite time of year. I love watching everything come back to life.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on March 22, 2015:

Thanks again, annart.

Ann Carr from SW England on March 22, 2015:

You certainly got that balance, just like the seasons, Catherine!

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on March 22, 2015:

annart: How nice to have all four seasons on the same day. Thanks so much or your comment, and I am glad you enjoyed the poems. There were so many for me to choose rom. I tried for a balance of well-known, beautiful, and funny.

Ann Carr from SW England on March 22, 2015:

I love the differences in all the seasons; that's the advantage of living in Britain. Indeed sometimes we get them all in the same day!

My favourite is Spring because it's full of promise, everything's new and the Summer is on the way. I love watching the daffodils coming out.

Your research on the quotes is comprehensive and fascinating. I like the Summer one about the lawn mower being broken!

It's lovely to read such a variety of witty and deep words from our great writers.


Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on March 16, 2015:

Thanks Lawrence01. I agree that Stephenson's poem is adorable. I've never been to New Zealand, but I have a feeling that it is a beautiful country. I'd love to see the leaves turn there.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on March 16, 2015:

Spring may be my favorite but Stephensons poem was awesome. Thank you for sharing it.

Loved this hub

By the way the best autumn leaves I've ever seen was Queenstown and Arrowtown in NZ and it was Easter

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on March 15, 2015:

FlourishAnyway: Thanks for your comment and votes. I think I like Spring best. Today in Orlando Florida it was a beautiful day that reminded me of mid-June in New York and it is not even officially spring until 3/20.

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 15, 2015:

I am definitely a Spring and Fall person, as I enjoy color and like to stay away from extremes in weather. One is winding up, the other down. a you have some lovely poems and quotes here. Voted up and more. Have a splendid week as the weather warms.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on March 14, 2015:

Thank you for your response. No need to be sorry. There is always something new to learn and we can't know all those things. So don't feel sorry that you do not know. Let us keep on learning to our last breathe and spread it to others.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on March 14, 2015:

Ven: I'm sorry to say I don't know much about the weather in India. It's a big country so there may be several climates. I do know the leaves change color in response to cold weather. It also has to do with the type of tree. Not all trees have leaves that change color. In Orlando, Florida, where I live, the leaves don't change color although some do lose their leaves. It's so nice to know that I spurred your interest to seek more information.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on March 14, 2015:

I searched on Google for my answer and found one article referring to the shedding of leaves by trees in India. The link is here

The same applies to many places in India. I see most trees shedding during January only. In February, the fresh leaves come mostly. And in March month, we have our New Year. This is our climate.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on March 14, 2015:

Venkatachari M: Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you found this interesting. In answer to your question, trees shed their leaves in the northern hemisphere in the temperate climate zone towards the end of fall. The colors change when the temperatures begin to cool down and the leaves drop before the temperatures get down to freezing. October is the main month for seeing the "fall colors." It only lasts a few weeks.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on March 13, 2015:

Very interesting and beautiful description of the four seasons. I learned some interesting factors. But still confused. I thought the leaves fall after winter or during winter. I am much confused about it. I know seasons as Spring, Summer, Rainy, Autumn and Winter but trees shed leaves due to winter cold.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on March 13, 2015:

Thanks Mark: So glad you liked it. Since you mentioned that you thought it was good enough for Editors Choice, I thought I would mention that you can recommend things for Editor's Choice in case you didn't know that. It's right above Hub of the Day.

Mark Johann from New Zealand on March 13, 2015:

I am guessing that this article is to be an editor's choice. I hope so. I learned few things.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on March 13, 2015:

Jodah: Thanks for the praise and the votes. The Robert Louis Stevenson poem was delightfully funny, and come to think of it, I never knew he wrote poetry either. "Summer in Bed" is exactly how I felt as a child.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on March 13, 2015:

What a wonderful hub about the four seasons Catherine. I enjoy both Spring and Autumn equally. I love all the quotes and poems especially the one by Robert Louis Stevenson 'Bed in Summer". I never knew he wrote poetry. Voted up.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on March 12, 2015:

Billybuc: I thought I might miss the change of seasons when I moved to Orlando from New York, but now that I am hearing about the horrific snow storms, I think I made the right decision. Orlando is only semi tropical; we have a little bit of winter. Thanks for your comment.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 12, 2015:

I can never decide which is my favorite. I love them all. What I do know is I have to live somewhere where all four seasons exist. That leaves out Florida as a future home. :)