Apple-Picking

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.

 

Sweet, sticky fingers; strong, broad boughs beneath my feet; the smell of tart, crisp apples that makes my mouth tingle.  I love going apple-picking, and last week and the week before that, we were able to go apple-picking as a family at friends’ private orchards.  Apple-trees always seem to be well-shaped for climbing, and they themselves provide a pleasant place to sit (or stand) and eat the beautiful, crisp, tart-but-sweet produce that so clearly reminds us of autumn.  Of course, going twice wasn’t enough for me and I cannot share Mr Frost’s sentiment in this poem, though I know my friends with apple-trees are quite done with apples when the season’s over.  God provides an abundant harvest and they’re always thankful for friends who desire to come over and pick the fruit that remains when they are finished.

What bounty are you enjoying this wonderful harvest season?

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