Sunday Morning Apples is Hart Crane's description of the art and the environment of his friend William Sommer. Crane refers to the rural landscape, the Brandywine Valley, the changing of seasons, all frequent subjects of Sommer's art. The poem is about light, the changing of the seasons - a feeling especially notable in Sommer's paintings from the same period. The apples emphasize this - a fruit of the earth, cultivated to some extent by man, but limited to a season, and best and most wonderful for a very brief time. It is the glowing Sunday Morning, not working, everything full of beauty, and life - this is what Sommer captured in his painting, and what Crane captures in his poetry - this beauty, in a state normally seen as being so boring, Ohio.
SUNDAY MORNING APPLES
To William Sommer
The leaves will fall again sometime and fill
The fleece of nature with those purposes
That are your rich and faithful strength of line.
But now there are challenges to spring
In that ripe nude with head
Into a realm of swords, her purple shadow
Bursting on the winter of the world
From whiteness that cries defiance to the snow.
A boy runs with a dog before the sun, straddling
Spontaneities that form their independent orbits,
Their own perennials of light
In that valley where you live
I have seen the apples there that toss you secrets,-
Beloved apples of seasonable madness
That feed your inquiries with aerial wine.
Put them again beside a pitcher with a knife,
And poise them full and ready for explosion-
The apples, Bill, the apples!
Hart Crane, 1922