Monday, October 11, 2010

Poem for Monday, May Morris, Longwood Gardens

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.


I have spent the day in the Brandywine Valley with my family and Dementordelta, first in Wilmington at the Delaware Art Museum, which has a special exhibit of May Morris's paintings and embroidery as well as an exhibit of drawings and prints by Leonard Baskin (who was a fan of Blake's, as were the Pre-Raphaelites, hence the poem), then at Longwood Gardens, where we had a picnic and walked through several autumn exhibits including monster pumpkins, a miniature garden railway, the fall flower beds, and the conservatory, plus we saw most of a fountain show and walked all the way around the meadow to the tree houses in the woods. The weather was perfect, high 70s with a nearly cloudless sky, and although there were many cars in the Longwood parking lot, it wasn't crowded anywhere we went.

Delta found a gourd shaped like a snake in the Curious Cucurbits & Monster Pumpkins exhibit at Longwood Gardens.

In addition to gourds and squash, there were enormous pumpkins weighing more than 500 pounds in some cases.

The formal flower beds were full of autumn color, both planted and buzzing/fluttering through the blooms...

...while the woods were only just starting to show that it was fall.

We walked through the meadow beyond the water garden, which we've never done before...

...and enjoyed the shade, since it was quite warm in the sun.

Earlier in the day, we went to an exhibit of works by William Morris's daughter May, including some of her prints and watercolors... well as her embroidery, like this table cover from 1895 featuring flowers, vines, and leaves, at the Delaware Art Museum.

We stopped for dinner at the Maryland House, where we all had Sbarro (I had spinach stromboli, which was yummy) and saw many happy Redskins and Ravens fans heading up I-95 from the games. Since both the Redskins and Ravens seem to win when we miss their games entirely and go sightseeing instead, I am thinking we should skip watching all football games about which we have strong feelings this season and only watch games where we don't care who wins. This will free up lots of time for other things.

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