AAnalysis of “After Apple-Picking” by Robert Frost.
November 20, 2011
The Speaker in the poem “After Apple-Picking” has been upon a ladder picking apples all day long. He has not picked every apple, but the night is coming and he is getting tired. As the speaker has some thoughts about his vision he had that morning, while he has these thought he may or may not be falling asleep. The speaker is tired of picking apples, because there are a lot of them and he had to be careful not to let them fall. He wonders whether he is in a normal sleep, or in a deep sleep.
“After Apple-Picking” is a poem in the shape of dramatic monologue. The poem typically involves a critical moment of a specific situation, where the speaker reveals his character. The character explains his/her feelings, actions, and motives. This poem by Robert Frost is s basically iambic, and mostly in pentameter. Throughout the poem, both rhyme and line-length are manipulated and varied with subtlety. There are long and short lines, to talk about the in and out of the poem. The word “sleep” appears six times in this poem, three of them in the middle of the poem, in fact it’s all over the poem.
The first word of the title of the poem is “After”, which implies that the experience is done, and it’s a past. A hyphen separates the second and third words in the title, the hyphen like in Robert Frost’s poem “The Wood-Pile”, represent the unity between both words and how both words are like the body and soul. The word “Apple” in the title can represent experiences in life, good and bad experiences depending on the condition of the apple. Apples can also be metaphors for sin, or the lost of insane and mortality. The word “still” in the second line of the poem suggest that the speaker is still picking apples and wants to continue picking apples, but the first word of the title is “After”, which suggest that he should be done with picking apples. In the first line of the poem, the speaker states that he has one of the old fashioned ladders with the two points at the end. For the fact that the top of the ladder is pointed toward heaven, gives the poem religious overtones. In lines 3-5, the speaker states there’s a barrel next to that he has not filled yet. He has been filling barrels with apples all day. The barrel can represent everything he has not experienced. In line 6, He states that he’s done with apple-picking now, this could means he’s going to stop, or getting sick of it. He leaves us with a question, if he’s done with it for now or forever?
... Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and After Apple-Picking The speakers of the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ... . He states this very clearly, of apple-picking: I am overtired. (Line 28) He admits all the hard work ... men shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? (Lines 70-72) He understands what is good for him ... he says, Do I dare disturb the universe? (Line 45) However, later he changes his mind. He ...
Lines 7 and 8 can cause us to reassess the setting of the poem. It’s night time, and the speaker is very tired. It could also tell us that the speaker is experiencing bad times. The speaker is either falling asleep on his ladder, or in his bed. On the other hand it could mean that he’s experiencing bad times, or thinking about times he experienced bad times. In lines 9-13, the speaker remembers when he went outside to get a drink of water from his trough. The top layer of the trough was frozen into a sheet of ice since the night was cold enough to do so; he picked up that sheet to get to the sweet water beneath it. The speaker looked at the world through the sheet of ice. The grass was misshapen by the mirror of the ice. There is a time shift between the line 9-13 and lines 14-17. Lines 14-17 tells us that it’s more likely that the speaker is in bed, after a long and hard day of work, thinking about what he will be dreaming about when he falls completely asleep.
He starts dreaming in lines 18-20. Dreaming about apples represents his thoughts about his experiences, they could be good or bad experiences. The speaker the russet specks that dot the surface of the apples. Due to your memories your dreams are magnified. In lines 21-23, the speakers describes how realistic his dream about the apple-picking can be, or going to be. He can feel the pressure of the ladder on the bottom of his foot; this can mean the pain he feels of being alive. The swaying of the ladder against the bending branches of the apple tree can mean that his life journey is slipping away. The speaker is still feeling the pressure of the ladder, as if he were still standing on it, and that can represent he always have the pain of being alive. “Of load on load of apples coming in” in line 26 can represent that all his life experiences are coming in. In lines 27-29, he states that he is sick of picking apples, and not excited to do it anymore.
... , review his homework, talk about current events, and share our life experiences. While this seemed intimidating at first, I learned that he ... seem, there is always something to be learned. The first time I realized the importance of discipline occurred the summer of ... business from the top down and the rest of the time, I worked from the bottom-up. By viewing both sides ...
In line 30, the speaker states “There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch”. This tells that there are so many apples in the orchard to pick. This line could also mean that there are millions of life experiences we have to go through. In lines 30-36, the speaker explains why he is tired of the harvest. Apples would be considered worthless if they touched the ground, that’s why the speaker had to worry not to let the apples drop on the ground. On the other hand this could represent that we should learn from every experience we have and that if you don’t learn something from your life experiences they don’t mean anything and they don’t worth anything as well. We should learn more from bad experiences than good or perfect experiences. The worst apples in the harvest makes cider, here the speaker is telling us that we should learn the most from our bad and worst experiences in life. Going back to line 33, “That struck the earth,” all the falling and fruit parts of this poem makes us think of the story of the fall of Adam and Eve from grace. The speaker returns to pain of life in line 34, when he says “bruised or spiked with stubble” which represent the pain of life. The speaker ends the poem wondering if he will sleep like a normal person, or like a hibernating creature. Death is the only solution he says, when he ends the poem with the word sleep.