After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost, 1914

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After Apple-Picking” is a poem by American poet Robert Frost. It was published in 1914 in North of Boston, Frost’s second poetry collection. The poem, 42 lines in length, does not strictly follow a particular form, nor does it follow a standard rhyme scheme.

After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost, 1914
After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost, 1914

After Apple-Picking Poem by Robert Frost

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.a

Poems / Robert Frost

  1. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost, 1916
  2. Fire and Ice
    Robert Frost, 1920
  3. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost, 1923
  4. Acquainted with the Night
    Robert Frost, 1928
  5. Birches
    Robert Frost, 1915
  6. Mending Wall
    Robert Frost, 1914
  7. The Gift Outright
    Robert Frost
  8. Nothing Gold Can Stay
    Robert Frost, 1923
  9. Choose Something Like a Star
    Robert Frost, 1947
  10. A Question
    Robert Frost
  11. The Oven Bird
    Robert Frost
  12. After Apple-Picking
    Robert Frost, 1914
  13. Home Burial
    Robert Frost, 1914
  14. Out, Out—
    Robert Frost, 1916
  15. The runaway
    Robert Frost, 1923
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