Thursday, June 16, 2016

“Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense.” ― Robert Frost

I have a Master’s Degree in American Literature (Cal Poly, 1981) and studied Robert Frost in particular.  Of all of his poems, this one that was in his first book “North of Boston” has stayed with me more than the others, and I think of it often.  No real Christian imagery here, but I really identify with the man in the poem and think of the picked apples as all of the people I have helped or tried to help in my life.  You can Google this for lots of different explanations of the poem, but I think it pretty much speaks for itself.

                   After Apple-Picking      
                 by Robert Frost  1915
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. 

Hmmm . . . it means a lot to me, I hope you enjoyed it.

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