Humanist Voices in Verse: Philip Appleman

This week we’re featuring the beloved humanist poet, Philip Appleman.

Philip Appleman is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Indiana University-Bloomington. He has published eight volumes of poetry, three novels, and half a dozen nonfiction books, including the widely used Norton Critical Edition, Darwin. His poetry and fiction have won many awards including a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Humanist Arts Award of the American Humanist Association, and have appeared in Harper’s, The Nation, New York Times, and Yale Review.

If you’d like to contribute original poetry to Humanist Voices in Verse, write to with “Poetry” in the subject line. Please send no more than three poems for consideration per week.

(for Margie)

Who, me? Compare you to a summer’s day?
Heck, no, it’s hot and sweaty here — and hey,
The days are getting shorter anyway.
Summer can’t be counted on to stay.

But you’re no winter day, I’m sure of that:
You’re not all blow and bluster, slop and splat,
You never blew off anybody’s hat.
Compared to summer, winter’s one spoiled brat.

Sometimes you’re sweet like autumn, turning gold,
With moods from kinda warm to kinda cold,
Sometimes a little shy, and sometimes bold,
But amber leaves will never make you old.

Other seasons may yet play a part,
But you are always springtime in my heart.

—Philip Appleman