The poem “After Apple Picking” is written by a well-known American poet Robert Lee Frost. In his works Robert Lee Frost often discusses various philosophical and psychological topics that are relevant for every generation. The majority of his works are written at the beginning of the twentieth century and the same period is mainly discussed in his poems. The poem “After Apple Picking” consists of 42 lines and each line can shed more light on the general analysis of the poem.
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The narrator of the poem feels exhausted after a rather long and difficult day and he is engulfed in thoughts. He begins to feel sleepy but the image of apples is constantly before his eyes. Then he sees several dreams which describe different stages of apples growth and their further use. Each stage is described in a very metaphoric way with different epithets that emphasize its meaning and idea. However, the reality of this dream does not seem to be obvious for the narrator and he wonders what this dream is meant for.
The poem is a rhyming one, though it is not characterized by a peculiar rhyme scheme. This is an iambic poem and all the lines are arranged in pentameter, though some lines differ in size a lot. Such difference was created in order to sharpen the rhythm of pentameter and keep the reader in a slight tension and constantly awake. The structure of the poem is not very traditional as it varies in size. Such an approach can be used in order to show the differences between a dreamy and sleepy state that the narrator experiences during the poem.
It is also possible to observe the process of repetition with the help of such words as “sleep”, “appear”, and ”disappear”. The repetition of these words helps to show the gradual change from a dreamy to a sleepy state of the narrator. The word “apple” is also repeated throughout the poem.
The action described in the poem takes place in winter as the grass is already hoary and the water and other surfaces are covered with ice. Such a setting depicts natural seasonal changes and interrelation of such notions as life and death. Frost uses the symbol of apples to depict this interrelation in the following line: “Magnified apples appear and disappear, Stem end and blossom end”. The description is made in a metaphoric way and not as a routine act of apple-picking. The narrator doubts whether this is the last winter or spring will renew and give life to everything.
There is no clear view on the poem as there can be differences in its interpretation. It is possible to suppose that nearly the whole poem is described as a dream with certain changes and alterations in its content. The shift from one notion to another is also used in order to emphasize the dreamy state of the author. However, Frost could describe the narrator at death’s door when he is recalling his life and its stages. The line “But I am done with apple-picking now. Essence of winter sleep is on the night” proves this idea. Winter can be perceived as a symbol of death that takes life as winter takes the whole harvest.
Further in his description he uses the metaphors as a bright way to make a reader fall to thinking and make their own analysis of the poem and their life. A great deal of metaphors and symbols help the reader understand that such notions as darkness and death are specific critical points for any person in their lives and when they face them the issue of faith arises. The narrator also experiences certain doubts and he tries to deal with them by comparing the process of problem-solving to apple-picking. But at the end of the poem the narrator states that winter’s coming means the end of apple-picking and consequently his personal intention to give in.
“After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost is a vivid example of perspective study. But Frost makes his task even more difficult by drawing our attention to the religious perspective. The instrument chosen by the author to convey this is allusion. It is a striking way to evoke the reader’s emotions and an ideal one to make his work stronger. But he does not stop to develop his thoughts. The next idea developed by Frost is about an ordinary person who faces real life.
The narrator tries to analyze his life and recall all the achievements and losses he had in it. Apple-picking can be understood as a symbol of life and all the experience it gives us. We all have certain goals, some specific purposes and ideals that we try to reach and some tasks we try to accomplish. However, life cannot be ideal and we have to face various challenges and overcome difficulties. It is impossible to be perfect in everything and to accomplish all the tasks. Some things are impossible for us due to certain reasons. And when we reach the final stage of our life we can see what we achieved and what challenges turned out to be impossible for us.
The narrator understands that there have been both achievements and losses in his life. There are some things he did not have enough time to deal with and he says that “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”. The narrator is definitely at the death’s door as in one of the lines he says "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". This line shows that the narrator is old enough and gray with age and after a profound analysis of his life he is ready to accept death.
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