August Morning by Albert Garcia explores the serene moments of human life. Garcia focuses on a morning’s bliss: the smell, slow sounds, and sights. Garcia is quietly happy in the poem, ‘wandering’ around the house in bliss. The poet reflects on the small moments of human life, concluding they are often the most precious. Although Garcia does not understand ‘how my life has happened’, he is glad that it ended up this way.
Explore August Morning
Summary of August Morning
The poet rises earlier, following the smell of a ‘ripe’ ‘melon’ in the house. His life is still asleep, so he wanders through the house. The delicious scent of the melon combines with the soft morning light, creating a beautiful scene. Garcia simply moves through this scene, reflecting on how much he is enjoying his day. The final lines show that he doesn’t fully understand life, but is glad that it has to lead him here. The poem is quiet in terms of both tone and events, Garcia basking in the new day.
You can read the full poem here.
Form and Structure
Albert Garcia writes August Morning in one continuous stanza, using free verse. The poem measures a total of 27 lines, being one solid stanza. Garcia could employ this structure to reflect the easy-going and flowing tone of the poem. There is no structure to Garcia’s morning wonderings, mirrored in the continuous and uninterrupted structure. The constant switching between caesura and end stop creates a start-stop rhythm, one that fits the narrative of Garcia moving through his home while looking at different objects. A sense of wonder is created by the poem, Garcia using his free form structure as emblematic of this freedom.
One theme that Garcia discusses within August Morning is the beauty of nature. The happiness he experiences in the poem stems from interaction with nature. Due to this, the beauty of nature becomes a central focus, spanning across multiple senses. This perfect morning is the beauty of many elements of nature working together. Garcia seems at ease amongst the natural world, appreciating his time alone in the morning.
Another theme that Garcia touches on within August Morning is spontaneity and the random nature of life. The final moments of the poem reflect on how Garcia is uncertain of how he arrived at this point in his life. Although this could be understood as skeptical or unsettled, I offer that it is actually Garcia accepting this fact. One cannot truly know what inspires someone to take a certain direction in their life. Garcia understands this, being thankful for having ended up somewhere he is happy.
The tone of August Morning is a central part of the poem. Garcia creates an uplifting, gentle tone as the poem progresses. The sense of softness, both in color and atmosphere, of the poem help create the tone. The ‘Yellow’, ‘soft’, ‘sweet’ adjectives that describe the atmosphere culminate in a calming vision of morning. Even Garcia’s slumbering wife is described as ‘calmly’ sleeping. Everything is soft, gentle, and controlled, the morning being a beautiful place to be. This tone helps emphasize the beauty of nature, these things going hand in hand.
August Morning Analysis
It’s ripe, the melon(…)relaxed, different.
The poem begins with a distinct lack of specificity, ‘it’s ripe’, not signaling what ‘it’ is. This beginning allows Garcia to instantly categorize the tone as easy-going and relaxed. The poet is not rushing to give each detail, rather taking his time and moving through the house. By changing the syntax of this line, Garcia has also placed ‘melon’ as the final word of the first stanza. This manipulation places a feature of nature at an important place in the poem, suggesting the love Garcia holds for nature.
The use of pronoun creates a sense of cohesion, ‘our sink’. Although Garcia is walking alone through his house, he still describes the sink as ‘our[s]’. This creates a sense of familiarity, Garcia comfortable in his own home. The suggestion of another person in the plural pronoun also insinuates that Garcia is in company. The scene is subtly and friendly, building up detail by detail.
Garcia frequently uses caesura in the opening line four lines of the poem. Each caesura and end stop creates a slight pause in the rhythm. These build up, the poem trickling slowly from one caesura to another. This stilts the rhythm, reflecting the slow ‘wandering’ of Garcia through the house. The tone is calm and ‘quiet’, the poet enjoying the early morning.
What is happening in the silence(…)orange geranium, blue lobelia.
Garcia focuses on the sounds he can hear, the ‘silence’ of the house is comforting. It seems like the house is frozen in time, the ‘Curtains’ hanging still ‘from their rods’. The only movement is caused by the poet himself, ‘Ficus leaves treble/ at my footstep’. Garcia is moving through his house, enjoying the world one ‘step’ at a time. Even beyond his house, ‘the colours outside are perfect’, the world painted as incredibly beautiful. The double hyphen following ‘perfect’ creates an extended pause. This pause holds great weight in the poem, being emblematic of Garcia pausing to look at the outside world. The time he takes to do this could reflect his enjoyment of the ‘perfect’ colors, taking it all in.
I wander from room to room(…)amid this warm and steady sweetness?
Even the verbs that Garcia uses to classify his movements are slow and aimless. He ‘wander[s] from room to room’, taking everything in as he does. Garcia likens this to being ‘in a museum’, each mundane object, ‘books, flowers,/melon’ an exhibit to behold. This strange feeling of appreciation reflects the tone of the poem, Garcia taking enjoyment in everything he sees.
The short sentence, ‘Such still air’, grammatically isolated by caesura is elevated. The use of sibilance across this phrase creates a sense of calm, furthering the tone of the poem. This moment is deliberately slow, the ‘still[ness]’ being reflected through the structure of this moment.
Garcia begins to think about the future, ‘start my day’, and the past, ‘life has happened’. In both there is a sense of uncertainty, Garcia not knowing how he got to this stage in life and unsure what he will do today. The only certainty in this final section of the poem is the quality of the day. Garcia describes it as ‘warm and steady sweetness’, emphasizing the beauty of this new day. The poem concludes with a question mark, Garcia letting his uncertainty linger. He does not worry about the future, simply enjoying the present.
William Wordsworth’s famous Upon Westminster Bridge similarly explores the beauty of nature. While Garcia is confined inside their house, Wordsworth is examining morning in London. The morning combines with the city, creating a beautiful landscape. Although in different settings, both poems explore how incredible nature can be.
John Keats’ To Autumn similarly focuses on the beauty of nature. While Garcia is more concentrated on the beauty of the morning, Keats looks at autumn. The renewal of life that autumn signals are inspirational to Keats, both poets finding a common love for the fantastic force of nature.