English Poem After Apple Picking (By Robert Frost) Reference Context Explanation
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 shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-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 reappear,
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.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That 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.
Robert Frost was born in 1874 and died in 1963. The most American of poets he was first recognized as a poet not in his own country but abroad and his first two books were published in England. When the first set of poems came out the English reviewers were captivated with Frost’s unaffected lyrics, his simple vocabulary and sharp observation. He developed a reputation for “Turning the Living Speech of men and women into poetry”. [W.W. Gibson].
Idea of Poem:
In this poem the world of reality and dreams is strangely intermingled. The poet has been collecting his harvest of apples: he has had a wonderful harvest, “there were ten thousand, thousand fruit to touch…” he now, feels tired. The fatigue coupled with the over-powering scent of apples makes him drowsy and even before he falls to sleep he knows what form his dreams will take…he will see his load of apples, magnified, as it were and he will hear the rumbling of apples emptied out of their barrels. While relinquishing his hold on the conscious self, the poet wonder about the nature of sleep..”whatever sleep it is.” The question that poses itself is: “Is this sleep the ordinary, everyday sleep? or is it the sleep of death? All these possibilities are suggested and the poet leaves the question unanswered leaving the reader to draw his own conclusions. We feel that the poet would like it to be “just some human sleep.”