Some William Blake

To Autumn

by William Blake

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayst rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

“The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

“The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

It was a glorious weekend. An update on the National Book Festival (and my huge new writer-crush on Junot Díaz) is forthcoming.

Book festivals galore in September

This year’s NBF delightful poster designed by Rafael López.

Who’s got two thumbs and is pumped for the weekend? THIS GIRL.

After celebrating the first day of Autumn by picking some apples, on Sunday I’m going to stop by the National Book Festival: two days of author talks and signings, books for sale, and other literary shenanigans. I think I’m most looking forward to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of A Wrinkle In Time, featuring Leonard Marcus (whose fascinating history of children’s book publishing in America, Minders of Make Believe, I’ve just finished). But there are a terrific number of authors speaking, to suit every interest, including Geraldine Brooks, Michael Dirda, Junot Díaz, Lois Lowry, Jerry Spinelli, Nikky Finney, and Jeffrey Eugenides. Oh my.

You can check out the full National Book Festival schedule here. And while you’re at the Library of Congress website, take a look-see at their list of Books That Shaped America. An interesting collection.

Free Books Make Monday Mornings Better

As I emerged from the darkness of the Metro yesterday on my way to work, I was greeted by both sunshine and some lovely people handing out free books. Apparently Solas Nua, an Irish arts group, was celebrating Irish Book Day with the help of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. (They chose September 17 because it’s marks the halfway point in the year from last St. Patrick’s Day to the next.) Volunteers were handing out books at three Metro stations yesterday. Anyway, I’d like to extend my thanks to the friendly blonde lady who gave me a copy of Fiona: Stolen Child. I’ll see how it is!

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