"Give me juicy autumnal fruit..." -Walt Whitman

 
Medford Apple by Jane Dolan. Original watercolor of malus domestica (apples) by Ellen Isham Schutt, part of the: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705

Medford Apple by Jane Dolan. Original watercolor of malus domestica (apples) by Ellen Isham Schutt, part of the: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705

Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard. [Give me the splendid silent sun]
— Walt Whitman

Perhaps best known for Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman is considered one of America's most influential 19th century poets. Considered America's first 'poet of democracy,' Whitman influenced writes including, Melvil, Twain, and Emerson, not to mention the beatnik movement and anti-water poetry of the 1950s and 60s.

Called the father of free verse poetry (though not the inventor), Whitman wrote prose-like poetry, and often used unusual or obscure imagery. Turning to images such as tufts of grass, or rotting leaves.

Compared to rotting leaves, and clumps of grass, the imagery of ripe and red autumnal fruit is mellow, though no less evocative. It is imagery that calls to mind Emerson, Thoreau and the transcendentalism movement. It is imagery that fits perfectly with the beautiful and also technically exacting images of the USDA's Pomological Watercolor Collection.

The poetry written with words invokes the poetry written with watercolors. "…juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red…" what we hear in our heads, and see before our eyes, and remember in our memories is the crisp crunch of apples mirroring the crisp crunch of fallen leaves. It's the color that invokes the sounds and smells of fruit, we can see the color and hear the sounds ringing through our memories.

Medford Apple by Jane Dolan. Original watercolor of malus domestica (apples) by Ellen Isham Schutt, part of the: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705

Medford Apple by Jane Dolan. Original watercolor of malus domestica (apples) by Ellen Isham Schutt, part of the: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705