Friday, October 24, 2008

Poetry Friday - Robert Frost

After Apple Picking
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
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 spik
ed 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.

Poetry Friday is being hosted today at the blog where it all began,
Big A little a.


TadMack said...

I do love this one; I love that a poet of the stature of Frost wrote of the pedestrian craziness of ordinary tasks and the humanity of weird dreams, just as we drop off to sleep... ordinary, but beautiful.

Cloudscome said...

My parents are from New England and recently visted upstate NY. They always bring me the best apples! I've got Jonathans and MacIntosh in my kitchen right now and am thinking about making applesauce this weekend. Love that poem!

Fiddler said...

Homemade applesauce, mmmmm. The apples in the photo at the bottom of my post were ones we found in the wild. Six or seven really old, hugely overgrown apple trees line the edge of a wood where we walk the dog. The apples within reach were all gone, but some were still attainable with the help of a fallen branch and three kids who were keen to catch the ones I could knock off the branch. Strange looking apples--the red ones were bumpy and tart and the yellow and black ones were, well, yellow and black, though perfectly fresh inside. Some ancient variety called bumblebee, perhaps?