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


samantha m #216449
Nov 29, 2011 6:09 PM

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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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tracey c #171707
Nov 29, 2011 7:36 PM

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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

Source(s): After apple picking


Nov 29, 2011 9:12 PM

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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.

samantha m #216449
Nov 30, 2011 11:57 AM

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Thanks yall!! You were both a big help.

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