Archives for posts with tag: fall season


lyrics by Vernon Duke

Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting?
Autumn in New York, it spells the thrill of first knighting
Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds in canyons of steel
They’re making me feel, I’m home

Its autumn in New York that brings the promise of new love
Autumn in New York is often mingled with pain
Dreamers with empty hands, may sigh for exotic lands
It’s autumn in New York, its good to live it again

Autumn in New York, the gleaming rooftops at sundown
Autumn in New York, it lifts you up when you’re run down
Jaded roués and gay divorcées who lunch at the Ritz
Will tell you that it’s divine

This autumn in New York transforms the slums into Mayfair
Autumn in New York, you’ll need no castle in Spain
Lovers that bless the dark on benches in Central Park
Greet autumn in New York, its good to live it again

Listen to BIllie Holiday sing “Autumn in New York” in a lovely vintage New York autumn video at

ABOUT THE SONG (from  Vernon Duke composed the jazz standard “Autumn in New York” for the Broadway musical Thumbs Up!, which opened on December 27, 1934. Over the years, a wide range of performers have recorded many version of the song, a favorite of jazz performers — including  Chet Baker, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald.


ABOUT THE COMPOSER: Russian-born Vernon Duke (1903 – 1969) was an American composer/songwriter, who also wrote under his original name Vladimir Dukelsky. He is best known for “Taking a Chance on Love” with lyrics by Ted Fetter and John Latouche, “I Can’t Get Started” with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and “April in Paris” with lyrics by E. Y. (“Yip”) Harburg (1932). He wrote the words and music for “Autumn in New York” (1934). Vernon collaborated with lyricists  Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, Ogden Nash, and others — and his works have been performed and recorded by Count Basie, Bunny Berigan, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, the Modern Jazz Quartet, André Previn, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, and many others. (Read more at

Illustration: “Street, New York I” (1926) by Georgia O’Keeffe

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

GEORGE ELIOT, pen name of Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880), author of Silas Marner

Painting: “Autumn Bird” by ElfShoppe, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at


BIRDCALL (Excerpt)
by Alicia Suskind Ostriker

Tuwee, calls a bird near the house,
Tuwee, cries another, downhill in the woods.
No wind, early September, beeches and pines,
Sumac aflame, tuwee, tuwee, a question and a faint
But definite response, tuwee, tuwee, as if engaged
In a conversation expected to continue all afternoon,
Where is?—I’m here?—an upward inflection in
Query and in response, a genetic libretto rehearsed
Tens of thousands of years beginning to leave its indelible trace,
Clawprint of language, ritual, dense winged seed,
Or as someone were slowly buttoning a shirt.
I am happy to lie in the grass and listen, as if at the dawn of reason,
To the clear communal command
That is flinging creaturely will into existence,
Designing itself to desire survival,
Liberty, companionship,
Then the bird near me, my bird, stops inquiring, while the other
Off in the woods continues calling faintly, but with that upward
Inflection, I’m here, I’m here,
I’m here, here, the call opens a path through boughs still clothed
By foliage, until it sounds like entreaty, like anxiety, like life…

…

Photo: “Autumn Tree Bird” by Ellen Gee, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1937, Alicia Suskin Ostriker received a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and an MA and PhD in literature from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her collections of poetry include The Book of Seventy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009); The Volcano Sequence (2002); The Little Space: Poems Selected and New, 1968-1998 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998) which was a finalist for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Crack in Everything (1996), a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Paterson Poetry Award and the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award; and The Imaginary Lover (1986), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America. She teaches poetry in New England College’s Low-Residency MFA Program.



Autumn in New York,

Why does it seem so inviting? 

Above lyrics from “Autumn in New York,” song written by VERNON DUKE in 1934. Listen to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong perform this jazz standard here. Listen to BIllie Holiday sing it in a lovely vintage New York autumn video here.

Illustration: “Street, New York I” (1926) by Georgia O’Keeffe