Robert Frost: Poems

metaphor and imagery in "After Apple Picking" by Robert Frost

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.

For all

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.

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- magnified apples appear and disappear,every fleck of russet showing clear. Imagery

the rumbling, of load on load of apples coming in.

- Essence of winter sleep in on the night, the scent of apples

although not specifically mentioned, the taste of the apples is implied

My instep arch not only keeps the ache, It keeps the pressure of a ladder round these are all examples of imagery in the poem

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After apple picking

The entire poem could be viewed as an extended metaphor for the actual process of writing poems. Look at the various types of apples and what they could be metaphorically.

1) apples he did not pick-poetical ideas that the poet has chosen not to pursue.

2) magnified apples-lessons and themes that the poet uses in different works(appear and disappear).

3)stem end and blossom end-the development of ideas from beginning to end.

4) load of apples coming in-his collected body of poems to this point in his career

He has grown tired, having reached the "great harvest" of poems that he had always wanted to write. He has had many ideas that have become poems through his writings (ten thousand thousand fruit to touch)but many of the poems never made it(went surely to the cider apple heap/As of know worth.

You could broaden the metaphor to ideas or opportunities in general to give a more universal appeal to the metaphor.

Thanks yall!! You were both a big help.