Thursday, December 10, 2015

“Everything said throughout the poem comes to the reader through sentences filled with incantatory repetitions and, rhymes and in waves of sound linked by likeness of pattern. It is a tour de force that all should know.” — Reuben A. Brower

Yesterday was a national holiday, I had forgotten about and no one worked and not much was done.  This morning I accidentally banged my surgery site on a door frame and am in way too much pain to do a blog.  I am offering a poem I loved as a young man and am only now truly beginning to understand as my own mortality begins to materialize.  I think it may be more about me than I like.

                             After Apple-Picking
                              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.

Many religious allusions and allusions to my own life and regrets as I reflect on all that I have done.  I hope you can enjoy it and learn as much as I have from it.  Serious pain medication is on the way, so please watch for a blog tomorrow.
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