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 dear.
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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem After Apple-Picking

32 Comments

  1. deepak thakur says:

    Why to find meanings in a poem? A poem is nothing more than a depiction of mood that poet experiences at one point of time.

  2. MALIK SHOKAT,ARWANI says:

    Apple picking symbolically means human aims and aspirations.Apple picking is just like harvesting.In the harvest season man gets the result of his seasonal activities.Similarly apple picking as a metaphor means the life long activities of man.The poet has used such a title to emphasize us that man strives for his aspiration but they remain unfulfilled to him till his last breath.
    The poet wants to tell us that every man in this mortal world has certain aims and aspirations.He lives by these aspirations.But as soon as death knocks at his door,all his efforts come to a halt and they fall just like the frost,which melts when sunlight falls on it.=

  3. Naresh Neupane says:

    The perfect chronology of life’s gloomy picture is brought in this poem.Let’s get simply-we ‘ve desire,dreams and goals that seem the hard sought motive of ours.And,we follow a course of actions to drive us through that.The adventurism that we face are treacherous ,painstaking and comes only through great risks,as we feel erstwhile.Not only are we stubborn to kick our actions but we deem our own truths ,realities shaped by experiences.We cling and thus unaware of what the real destination is,we are confused.Oue initial charm ,motivation wilts away.It mean no sooner the thing we attempted comes before us,we know the meaning as well as the vain we tried .This makes us laugh how meanest and petty it was.And,the big zero..the perishing away by death fears us,reminds of the fragile assetion and spirit.Thus goes the life meaningless,whatever we ‘ve, longings and passions to move with.

  4. Laura says:

    People that does not seek deeper meaning within literature lacks the very basic skill to even ask. Some people might think that others are reading too much into the poem, well maybe they are, but at least they have the ability to ask and convey a deeper meaning, instead of just take what the poem have to offer literally. Poets, like Robert Frost, are considered to be a famous because their work portrays themes and moral concepts which can be applied to the world, not because of simple “apple-picking.”

  5. Stephanie says:

    Damn, I’m going to write this up again. I pressed post comment but it’s gone and I don’t see it anywhere.
    So people who unfortunately missed my BITE into the apple poem, I’m going to reiterate my points.
    So in nutshell… crap I gotta go

  6. Stephanie says:

    Hi, I’m a daughter of farmer in South Korea. As you know from “Wikipedia”, Korea’s economy is primarily based on exporting apples. Apples used in Fruit-by-the-Foot are from Korea! Interesting, huh?
    That aside, I want to take a bite into this juicy poetry. MMMMMM yum~ 🙂 So, delicious, crimson apples in the poem represent the health of the humanity. We all know the saying, “a doctor a day, keeps apples away.” So in essence, the whole poetry is about conserving the economy over the well-being of doctors. 🙂 I hope this was insightful and helped out a lot of you. You guys were going quite a wrong direction.
    If you want more insight and wisdom from me, you can add me on Facebook at Stephanie Char- I look like a tadpole )))

  7. Hugh Jass says:

    The poem “After Apple Picking” is an expression of Robert Frost’s feelings toward the quickly passing season of apple picking. This poem revolves around his drowsy state while picking the apples were her ‘hallucinates’.

  8. Celticlace says:

    I feel that in this Poem Frost speaks simply of lifes choices (the two pronged ladder) . the wrong an right of life .. the choices we make.
    Its very clear to me, that as he approaches the end of his own life. He ponders his achievements ..and wonders as to what others may have accured or not if he had chosen another direction. ( There is a barrel I didnt fill and two or three apples I didnt pick ).

    He is exhausted from his musings ..knowing that he could ponder these thoughts endlessly. Knowing that the roads not traveled and choices not made are just as endless. (There are thousands thousands fruit to cherish in hand, touch, lift down an not let fall.)
    He suggests to us his readers ..that in life there are so many things to cherish .. touch, lift down and not let fall. but simply not enough time to do all. and so it is lost to us. In each passing day.
    (This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is . Long sleep, as I discribe its coming on , or Just some human sleep.)
    Simply put ..live life ..each day. Know that your choices are what they are. Embrace the abundance of pleasure. and regret not the choices unmade. for all too soon. It is over.

  9. Christina Collins says:

    I have been studying Frost fro my final exams, and this poem I feel is misunderstood. The simple language, in this poem , expresses his tiredness and his exhaustion! from what? I have heard various interpetations of this poem, and it appears to me, that we are loooking, and analysising his poem, out of context. He is simply, in my opinion, weary from apple-picking:
    “For I am done with apple-picking now”
    He says without pretense, yet there are many opinions, that say his is considering giving up poetry! This, I have been told, is the silent ‘metaphor’ throughout the poem, that Frost’s poetry have often two meanings to the. Yet in this poem, I feel, there is not:
    ” OF apple picking, I am over-tired”
    “The Road Not Taken”, for example, is also another poem, that has a very direct message. We can relate to Frost, because we can emphathise with him, as we all must at some stage of our lives.
    This poem, is ripped to shreads, and metaphors are extracted from its content, where there are none. As we know, all evidence seems to indicate that this agrument is true, because where would we be now, if Frost had meant giving up on poetry?

  10. Anonymous says:

    it is about apple picking!!!

  11. Vithuran says:

    Poetry is art. Art looks like something at face value, but always has a deeper meaning. Taking into account the fact that Robert Frost was no imbecile, and the fact that his poems are known for their metaphorical approach, we can safely say that it is not merely about a farmer.

    The whole point of published poetry, in my opinion, is to be interpreted more than to express the poet’s opinions. Allow people to give their own personal interpretations. Do not dismiss people’s analytical input. I personally disagree with the interpretations which states the poem is chauvinistic. But I shall not dismiss it. Many believe that we read too much into this poem, but i disagree.

    I personally believe that this poem is about life. The two pointed ladder is life itself, and the persona has reached the top. Apples are the goals and achievements in life. I won’t go on echoing what many have said earlier. But i agree with them

    Vithuran

  12. uma says:

    it is quite probable that we are reading too much into the poem’s meaning. Frost could have been describing the extreme exhaustion the harvestor was feeling after a more strenuous day of apple picking. Given his own personal experience with farming he is probably only talking about an extra hard day of backbreaking farming activity; sheer physical exhaustion causing him to feel dreamy and confused……….why look for something deeper and unexplainable?????

  13. Emily says:

    This is part of a short paper that I had to write analyzing a Robert Frost poem for a class of mine. I hope it can help anyone who is looking for analysis of “After Apple-Picking”.

    And if you don’t agree with my views on it, that’s fine, but please don’t stoop so low as to writing something like “that’s not what he means at all, you’re an idiot, that’s a stupid analysis, blah, blah, blah…” It’s not very becoming and frankly, it’s about as rude as you can get. Frost’s poems can be interpreted in countless different ways and everyone is entitled to their own interpretation, so please don’t trash mine.

    The first few lines of “After Apple Picking” tell us nearly everything we need to know about the poem. Frost uses the words; “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… (lines 1-4)”, but what the narrator means is that his life is ending, he’s moving on, but he still feels that he has things left to do. The next few lines tell us that maybe the narrator does not know how to do the things that he has left unfinished, Frost says, “…and there may be two or three apples I didn’t pick upon some bough. (lines 4-5)”. So while the narrator is aware that he has left business incomplete, he only knows of a few things that he could do to try to change that. Frost’s next words are, “But I am done with apple-picking now. (line 6)”. So even though the narrator feels that he has things left to do, he is too exhausted to continue and he has conceded to the fact that he is not going to finish everything. In lines 7 and 8, Frost says; “Essence of winter sleep is on the night, the scent of apples: I am drowsing off”, using winter sleep, or hibernation, to represent the long, cold sleep that the narrator will soon face. The narrator is so aware that his life is ending soon that he can smell it coming to him and the thought of all of the things the narrator has accomplished (“apples”), and those he did not get around to doing is exhausting him even more than he already was. In the next few lines of the poem the narrator is starting to slip away mentally, he speaks of dreaming as in hallucinating; Frost says; “but I was well upon my was to sleep before it fell, and I could tell what form my dreaming was about to take. (lines 14-17)”. In line 18, Frost writes; “Magnified apples appear and disappear, stem end and blossom end, and every fleck of russet showing clear”, representing every detail of everything the narrator has ever done, the good and the bad, running through the narrator’s mind. Then the narrator is jolted back to his senses and realizes that he is still on “the ladder”. But, in the back of his mind, he is still thinking of everything he has done and how he feels he did too much just because he wanted to get ahead (“For I have had too much of apple-picking: I am overtired of the great harvest I myself desired. (lines 27-29)”). It was then that the narrator realized all of the other things he could have done in his life, Frost refers to all of the things that the narrator did do as apples, and then he says; “There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch. (line 30)”, and then goes on to say that had the narrator cherished the things he did, they may not all be just plain apples falling into the cider-apple heap, forgotten and bruised. After explaining this all to us, Frost and the narrator both say; “One can see what will trouble this sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is (lines 37-38)”. The narrator does not know what kind of sleep is coming onto him, whether it will be the long, cold one from which he will never wake or just a normal human sleep. The narrator knows that death is coming to him, what he does not know is if his next rest will bring it, or the one after, but the narrator does know that it will be soon.

  14. Moh says:

    Apples in ‘apple picking’ sybolise buggers, and this whole poem is about a man sitting down and enjoying picking his nose. HAHAHAHHAHAAHHAH

  15. KM aka Modern Writer Major says:

    When we look at this poem, it is hard not to see it in a litterary view. The adding of heaven in the beginning show us that the apples mean one thing: the fruit of knowledge. Now the story goes Adam and Eve picked the fruit of knowledge and became not only aware of their nudity, but mortal. Frost is making a reference of a scholar gathering all the knowledge he can; in doing so he has realized that he is unable to leanr anymore than what he has and his life is coming to an end (the reference of growing tired). Frost is just making a direct response to the writning period beofore modernism (realism). The key to know litterature is to know that every period of writing is responding to and criticizing the period before it (Romanticism responded to Neo-Classicism, and Realism to Romanticism, as well as Modernism to Realism, and so forth). It is this key to truly know the depth the writer is trying to get to the reader. And to let people know, Frost does not go into detail about sex because it was not the topic of the time. A writer that takled about sexual acts is Walt Whitman; he was two litterary periods before Frost. Modernism is about the horrors the world was introduce to after WWI, which, as a world, we are still recovering from. People like Frost, Faulkner, Joyce, and Hemingway were responding to the results of the industrial revolution and were has come to; as well as responding to the “children lost” after WWI (WWI was a 2 mile blood bath).

  16. sally says:

    Read the anaalysis below to help you understand the poem. It’s right! I understand it, but it’s great to read what other people comment. Anyone could use his response as an essay.

  17. Muhammad Shanazar says:

    Comments: After Apple Picking, written in 1914. This poem describes Robert Frost’s sleep-wake condition in which he mingles up reality with dream. One evening while picking apples in his garden the poet felt exhausted and fatigue led him to drowsiness. Scent of the ripe apples in the atmosphere lost him in dream wherein he saw numerous apples of gigantic size; the vision was so clear and his senses were so awakened as he could not differentiate whether he visualized dream or reality. Though the poem is confusing yet it is not too difficult to understand. The students of literature must keep in mind the following points understand it well.
    1. The poet like every owner of the garden desired a great harvest. (Of the great harvest I myself desired.)
    2. The poet almost had finished his work of apple picking. (There may be two or three apples I did not pick upon some bough.)
    3. The poet in the particular season did not have good harvest despite he desires. He could only fill half of the barrel. (And there is a barrel I did not fill)
    4. The poem besides a psychological effect of the of the activity is also a spiritual experience

    The poem “After Apple Picking” depicts the poet’s strange experience rather mystic vision of mixing up reality with dream. In a sleep-wake condition he is rocked between dream and reality but he fails to understand the nature of this sleep. He can differentiate whether it is a dream or reality. On a certain day the poet remained, busy in his garden in picking apples all the time from morn to eve. After the whole day’s labour he felt quite exhausted. Scent of the ripe apples exerted on him influence in the form of drowsiness. With this intoxicating smell and fatigue the poet was overwhelmed with sleep; therefore, he was lost in the world of dream in which he saw the magnified apples more than ten thousand. The rumbling sound of the apples in the store was easily audible to him. It was all too good to be believed. The poet overjoyed at this great harvest as it was the realization of his desire. As the poet had his produce more than sufficient, he did not care for the apples if they were spiked or bruised. In sweetness of his dream the poet could not forget not forget exhaustion of his daily routine. It seemed to him that reality and dream were intermingled into inseparable oneness. Then the poet recalled the breaking of the glass like sheet of ice in the morning, it also refers that the thin glassy wall that makes division between the world of reality and the world of dream was shattered to mingle both the world into one. The poet wavered between a sleep-wake condition. This mysterious condition lasted for quite some time. On stepping out of the world of dream the poet himself was baffled and could not differentiate whether his sleep was “long sleep of death or just some human sleep.”

    Like all other poems of Frost, this poem too can be read on more than one level. Apple-picking is the symbol of the human activities in life. Drowsiness stands for the sleep of death. The poet in this poem wants to tell us that the world of Dream and Reality are correlated, of ten wishes are fulfilled in dream which remain unfulfilled in the worldly, as happened with the poet who had a great desire for the rich crop, “Of the great harvest I myself desired” but in reality he did not have enough crop even to fulfil his barrel, “There is a barrel I didn’t fill”. Though Robert Frost himself comments about the poem, “it is just about the apple-picking” yet the poem has symbolic significance. Apples represent all the goals and deeds in his power he could achieve and the unfilled barrel represents the poets unfulfilled deeds, drowsiness refers encroaching death, dream indicate the state of death and the ten thousand magnified apples indicate many times multiplied reward of the good deeds performed in the life.

    Q.1. Describe the poet’s pleasant experience of apple picking.
    Robert Frost, the poet has done too much of his routine work and he is now terribly exhausted. He has cherished the hope of reaping a rich harvest of apples, but he not has harvested sufficient produce as he desired. He could only fill half of the container and after the activity has been completed he becomes disgusted with his drudgery. Later on his exhaustion rocks him into the world of dream in which he experiences a very vivid vision. In drowsiness he can not discriminate between dream and reality. He sees numerous apples even more than ten thousand, all of great magnitude. This condition lasts for a certain span of time then he comes into sense; the world of colour and taste. The poet is still so confused and baffled that he can not decide which world is reality and which one is the world of dream. The poet does not know the actual nature of his sleep whether his sleep was the long sleep of the woodchuck one night-long human sleep. The experience the poet undergoes is on the one hand is pleasant as he tastes the pleasure of rich harvest and on the other hand it is mind baffling that the poet finds very close relationship between dream and reality.

    What does the empty barrel signify in After Apple Picking?
    Robert Frost, the poet in the beginning of the poem mentions that after apple-picking his barrel is still empty. The empty barrel literally signifies the unfinished work but symbolically it refers to a heap of unfulfilled desires. Although the apple-picker has been trying his utmost to fill his barrel with the apples picked by him, yet it is still empty because the apple tree did not bear enough fruit as the poet desired. In other words it may be elaborated, though the poet was on the last step of the ladder, he enjoyed himself high place in the world yet he cold not perform enough good deeds, when death encroached barrel of his deeds was half filled. Sleep which itself signifies death reaches the poet when his activities were still unaccomplished, and he require some more years. Though he fills half of the barrel yet he harvests generous reward in the world hereafter for a few noble deeds he performed in his life in the form ten thousand apples of great size and magnitude.
    How is the world of reality and dreams mixed up in this poem?
    Robert Frost, in this poem inter-mingles the world of reality and dreams. In reality, he is picking normal apples while standing on his two pointed ladder but, in dream, he sees apples of great size and magnitude. In sleep he vacillates between two poles of reality and dream. The poet in fact describes close relationship between dream and realty, life and death. The ambitions which often remain unfulfilled in the world of reality are realized in the world of dream. The dreamer enjoys himself with the same tastes, colours, smells and the pleasures of touch. In reality, the poet experiences he limited capacity of his physical labour but in dream he observes unlimited capacity of his imagination. The poet himself becomes as baffled and confused as it is difficult for him to suggest the solution whether the world which we consider reality is the real world or a mere optical illusion.

    What kind of sleep does Robert Frost sleep?
    While performing his work of picking apples, Robert Frost’s fatigue makes him feel extreme drowsiness. His fatigue and scent of the apples mingle and overpower the poet’s mind. In drowsiness he begins to see dream and he gets the vision of magnified apples. He hears them rumbling when emptied out of the barrels. The apple-picker has actually got tired of seeing the routine of loading and unloading of his apples. He admits that he himself has desired such a bumper harvest. Despite his utmost care, the apple-picker cannot throw the apples undamaged in his barrel. Some of them fall down from the barrel and are pricked by the stubbles. The dream is s much clear and vivid that it becomes difficult for the apple-picker to make difference between reality and dream. When he wakes up, he asks himself in his astonishment what kind of sleep it is. He is too confused to know whether it is a woodchuck’s long sleep of hibernation or a short human sleep of one night only. He does not suggest the answer and leaves to the reader to draw conclusion.

  18. Muhammad Shanazar says:

    Comments: After Apple Picking, written in 1914. This poem describes Robert Frost’s sleep-wake condition in which he mingles up reality with dream. One evening while picking apples in his garden the poet felt exhausted and fatigue led him to drowsiness. Scent of the ripe apples in the atmosphere lost him in dream wherein he saw numerous apples of gigantic size; the vision was so clear and his senses were so awakened as he could not differentiate whether he visualized dream or reality. Though the poem is confusing yet it is not too difficult to understand. The students of literature must keep in mind the following points understand it well.
    1. The poet like every owner of the garden desired a great harvest. (Of the great harvest I myself desired.)
    2. The poet almost had finished his work of apple picking. (There may be two or three apples I did not pick upon some bough.)
    3. The poet in the particular season did not have good harvest despite he desires. He could only fill half of the barrel. (And there is a barrel I did not fill)
    4. The poem besides a psychological effect of the of the activity is also a spiritual experience

    The poem “After Apple Picking” depicts the poet’s strange experience rather mystic vision of mixing up reality with dream. In a sleep-wake condition he is rocked between dream and reality but he fails to understand the nature of this sleep. He can differentiate whether it is a dream or reality. On a certain day the poet remained, busy in his garden in picking apples all the time from morn to eve. After the whole day’s labour he felt quite exhausted. Scent of the ripe apples exerted on him influence in the form of drowsiness. With this intoxicating smell and fatigue the poet was overwhelmed with sleep; therefore, he was lost in the world of dream in which he saw the magnified apples more than ten thousand. The rumbling sound of the apples in the store was easily audible to him. It was all too good to be believed. The poet overjoyed at this great harvest as it was the realization of his desire. As the poet had his produce more than sufficient, he did not care for the apples if they were spiked or bruised. In sweetness of his dream the poet could not forget not forget exhaustion of his daily routine. It seemed to him that reality and dream were intermingled into inseparable oneness. Then the poet recalled the breaking of the glass like sheet of ice in the morning, it also refers that the thin glassy wall that makes division between the world of reality and the world of dream was shattered to mingle both the world into one. The poet wavered between a sleep-wake condition. This mysterious condition lasted for quite some time. On stepping out of the world of dream the poet himself was baffled and could not differentiate whether his sleep was “long sleep of death or just some human sleep.”

    Like all other poems of Frost, this poem too can be read on more than one level. Apple-picking is the symbol of the human activities in life. Drowsiness stands for the sleep of death. The poet in this poem wants to tell us that the world of Dream and Reality are correlated, of ten wishes are fulfilled in dream which remain unfulfilled in the worldly, as happened with the poet who had a great desire for the rich crop, “Of the great harvest I myself desired” but in reality he did not have enough crop even to fulfil his barrel, “There is a barrel I didn’t fill”. Though Robert Frost himself comments about the poem, “it is just about the apple-picking” yet the poem has symbolic significance. Apples represent all the goals and deeds in his power he could achieve and the unfilled barrel represents the poets unfulfilled deeds, drowsiness refers encroaching death, dream indicate the state of death and the ten thousand magnified apples indicate many times multiplied reward of the good deeds performed in the life.

    Q.1. Describe the poet’s pleasant experience of apple picking.
    Robert Frost, the poet has done too much of his routine work and he is now terribly exhausted. He has cherished the hope of reaping a rich harvest of apples, but he not has harvested sufficient produce as he desired. He could only fill half of the container and after the activity has been completed he becomes disgusted with his drudgery. Later on his exhaustion rocks him into the world of dream in which he experiences a very vivid vision. In drowsiness he can not discriminate between dream and reality. He sees numerous apples even more than ten thousand, all of great magnitude. This condition lasts for a certain span of time then he comes into sense; the world of colour and taste. The poet is still so confused and baffled that he can not decide which world is reality and which one is the world of dream. The poet does not know the actual nature of his sleep whether his sleep was the long sleep of the woodchuck one night-long human sleep. The experience the poet undergoes is on the one hand is pleasant as he tastes the pleasure of rich harvest and on the other hand it is mind baffling that the poet finds very close relationship between dream and reality.

    What does the empty barrel signify in After Apple Picking?
    Robert Frost, the poet in the beginning of the poem mentions that after apple-picking his barrel is still empty. The empty barrel literally signifies the unfinished work but symbolically it refers to a heap of unfulfilled desires. Although the apple-picker has been trying his utmost to fill his barrel with the apples picked by him, yet it is still empty because the apple tree did not bear enough fruit as the poet desired. In other words it may be elaborated, though the poet was on the last step of the ladder, he enjoyed himself high place in the world yet he cold not perform enough good deeds, when death encroached barrel of his deeds was half filled. Sleep which itself signifies death reaches the poet when his activities were still unaccomplished, and he require some more years. Though he fills half of the barrel yet he harvests generous reward in the world hereafter for a few noble deeds he performed in his life in the form ten thousand apples of great size and magnitude.
    How is the world of reality and dreams mixed up in this poem?
    Robert Frost, in this poem inter-mingles the world of reality and dreams. In reality, he is picking normal apples while standing on his two pointed ladder but, in dream, he sees apples of great size and magnitude. In sleep he vacillates between two poles of reality and dream. The poet in fact describes close relationship between dream and realty, life and death. The ambitions which often remain unfulfilled in the world of reality are realized in the world of dream. The dreamer enjoys himself with the same tastes, colours, smells and the pleasures of touch. In reality, the poet experiences he limited capacity of his physical labour but in dream he observes unlimited capacity of his imagination. The poet himself becomes as baffled and confused as it is difficult for him to suggest the solution whether the world which we consider reality is the real world or a mere optical illusion.

    What kind of sleep does Robert Frost sleep?
    While performing his work of picking apples, Robert Frost’s fatigue makes him feel extreme drowsiness. His fatigue and scent of the apples mingle and overpower the poet’s mind. In drowsiness he begins to see dream and he gets the vision of magnified apples. He hears them rumbling when emptied out of the barrels. The apple-picker has actually got tired of seeing the routine of loading and unloading of his apples. He admits that he himself has desired such a bumper harvest. Despite his utmost care, the apple-picker cannot throw the apples undamaged in his barrel. Some of them fall down from the barrel and are pricked by the stubbles. The dream is s much clear and vivid that it becomes difficult for the apple-picker to make difference between reality and dream. When he wakes up, he asks himself in his astonishment what kind of sleep it is. He is too confused to know whether it is a woodchuck’s long sleep of hibernation or a short human sleep of one night only. He does not suggest the answer and leaves to the reader to draw conclusion.

  19. jeanette says:

    This poem is so confusing…I can’t tell weather he likes or dislikes his job/life…he needs to be more specific about these things.

  20. J.T. Best says:

    It is about the Robert Frost poem entitled After Apple Picking that I am right and the whole world is wrong. I have tried in vain to have my essay regarding that poem published but no one appreciates my analysis, so I stand alone in that regard and must do it myself. In order to build upon the notion that the poem is laced with sexual depth and filled with lust, I have written an extensive essay. I welcome replies with regard my thoughts on the matter but in so doing please respect the bounds of intellectual decency. Please be advised that my essay is adult literature. Go to http://whendarknessfell.tripod.com/ Cheers, J.T. Best

  21. sally says:

    Firstly, you need to back up your points; how do you know he loved his life? His father died when he was eleven, his first attempts to establish himself as a poet failed because his poems were rejected. His wife died in 1938. Two of his daughters suffered mental breakdowns and his son committed suicide…yeah, theres a lot to love about that.

    He’s an intellect who probably spends days creating these master pieces and that doesn’t mean he ‘loves’ his life…or that his success should somehow cancel out a miserable past.

    Where abouts in the poem does it relate to ‘religious symbolism’?. What you have depicted from this poem is inacurate and pointless- (literally!) …do your research, you are soooooooo wrong. x bless, you tried your best…lol

  22. Cathy says:

    I have to say that I have only read a few of Frost’s poems but I find that they are relating to life really well. I have to study 26 of his poems as part of my English course and I already have a favourite, A Servant of Servants. But I still have 21 more to read. Any hints on critcal notes would be a great help! Thanks

  23. Will says:

    oh man… theres so much to be said for this poem… the ladder pointing towards heaven is a displacement from the literal into the surreal world of imagery. I think his place upon the ladder represents God and the apples he picks are good people and the apples that fall go to hell, or the “cider heap.” As he retires from this job for good he gives into the woods and welcomes a long sleep. PEOPLE VIEW THIS POEM AS BEING TOTALLY ABOUT DEATH. U ARE MISSING THE WHOLE ASPECT OF HOW HE LOVED HIS LIFE AND POSSIBLE RELIGIOUS SYMBOLISM.

  24. steph says:

    Hi, i am just wondering if anyone has any notes on Robert Frost’s ‘After Apple-Picking’ as i have to write an essay based on the question…..’frost likes to trip readers up, why does he not give ansers in his poems?’ any help would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks

  25. Sally Chapman says:

    After Apple Picking, written in 1914. Frosts subtle, underlying metaphorical meanings often don’t get picked up on many of his poems. People get confused between his vivid use imagery he skillfully creates in our minds. We become so taken aback that we forget to study the poem in depth- remember, Frost is renowned for his use of figurative language; craftily disguised as a literal interpretation. But, as with all poems, your personal response is what matters as long as you can back up your point with a referance from the poem.
    This poem is literally telling you a short story about a man who is retiring from apple picking, “For I have had too much…I am over tired” he gives his reasons.
    But the deeper meaning suggests he’s dying, the first two lines illustrate the direction of his ladders, which are pointing toward heaven- his direction after death possibly? Then the last few lines refer to “long sleep” – meaning death again, which is what he feels will happen. But then he contradicts it, “or just some human sleep” so we don’t get a complete conclusion of the poem, or do we…?

  26. cheryl says:

    i think Robert Frost is amazing being only 16 and studying 14 of his poems and ive found that the road not taken has to be one of my fave poems ive eva heard so far!!now i have to write a critical review on some of his poems any hints would be good thanks

  27. Kate says:

    acceptance and the embrace of death is crucial: this poem encaptures the essence of what makes an individual satisfied with their earthly life so much that the thought of the after life is seen as a welcomed thing.

  28. shins says:

    It’s more philosophic having a flair of true life.

  29. Maedeh Madadnia says:

    Through comparison,Frost shows human life,the end of this world.He has got insight into death,symbolizes apple picking as that of taking the advantage of time and opportunities in this world as much as you can,no matter if you’ve lost some.

  30. Anne says:

    More like his (the author’s) acceptance of a death so near, that he can reach out and touch it.

  31. Juhee Lee says:

    vision of rhe nature and human life

  32. blake says:

    guys i need to break this poem down and tell me how it relates to life by the imagery

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