This past week was a bit ridiculous with grading and my propensity to over schedule myself…but I think I have things well under control. I still have a mountain of papers to grade, but I feel a little less scattered.
My sister will be in town this week. She has a job interview at Butler, so we’re both hoping that goes well. It will be good to see her and hang out for a few days.
This weekend RJ and I volunteered at Camp Rover Romp for the Humane Society. It was a lot of fun. We ran the water relay and I think we were a hit. The weather was beautiful.
The baby pools were a big hit 🙂
Mary Karr pays tribute to David Foster Wallace in the Washington Post.
The National Book Festival takes place this Saturday.
More than 70 authors will be in attendance including Salman Rushdie, Bob Schieffer, Michelle Singletary, R.L. Stine, Paul Theroux, Neil Gaiman, Philippa Gregory, Kimberly Dozier and more.
Robert Olin Butler waxes poetic in the Washington Post:
Every morning when I sit down at my desk to write, I feel I am called upon to try to give voice to something true about the human condition. From the place where I dream, I have learned that I must see this not as an act of judgment but as an exploration of our shared humanity. ·
Your fall poem for this week:
After Apple Picking
My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.
This hits home for me. Big time. This is very true:
The benefits have proved appealing enough to draw thousands of writers into the university fold, and while a couple of generations ago it might have been a surprise to find a writer who taught at a college, now it’s a surprise to find one who doesn’t.