Robert Frost

(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

After Apple Picking - Poem 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 shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-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 reappear,
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.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That 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.

Comments about After Apple Picking by Robert Frost

  • (2/16/2018 5:48:00 AM)

    but i like poem
    (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (2/1/2018 1:52:00 PM)

    i like it is shows emotion and detail (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (12/8/2016 9:36:00 AM)

    some human sleep
    long sleep, long life, men. (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani (4/26/2014 3:01:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out (Report) Reply

  • (7/28/2013 11:11:00 AM)

    i love this poem. actually the poet has depict the apples with the worldly desires, his effory may take him to top, with gaining more and more, his desires has been acquainted with lust, he realize lately it was a useless effort and he is tired of the worldly gains, in urdu we called it firs, then he might fall from the top with all apples here n there, this is the worldy gains, he might be tired to a sleep and may be awaken to a new dawn if wished by God, however who remain humble n gratefull to God, with contentment, n simplicity no matter how adversity greet them a humble genius is revealed. (Report) Reply

  • (10/25/2012 11:37:00 PM)

    wow he put in some long hours, picking apples
    at this orchard..almost fell asleep while picking
    a hard worker is an admirable quality..excellent write.. :)
    (Report) Reply

  • Shouvik Roy (6/24/2012 1:35:00 PM)

    In this poem Sir Frost travels back and forth in time, it has got such depth, the apples symbolize the desires and the dreams which he couldn't fulfill or achieve, and now its bothering him as he has grown old, he is feeling sleepy, what kind of sleep he doesn't know, may be death, he is imagining the same apples or desires appearing and disappearing before his eyes (explains the problem of old age subtly) (Report) Reply

    (2/11/2018 11:59:00 AM)

    I think that he's speaking of the desires and dreams that he did achieve as well.

  • (9/2/2011 8:22:00 AM)

    Im out of words to descride the joy the poem gave me inside, but though i am young and still looking for the meaning of life i loved this sure sharing it will give others the opportunity to feel my joy. (Report) Reply

  • (1/31/2010 12:20:00 AM)

    it is marvellous and symbolic poem.i enjoyed this poem very this poem poet uses fantastic symbol apple picking for human desires because we always run after our desires but our all desires donot fulfill that is why this poem hss also the element of universalityand robert frost did great job. (Report) Reply

  • (5/28/2009 9:13:00 AM)

    It is significant that the poet's ladder points towards heaven as what is celebrated is the scent of apples 'with every fleck of russet showing clear.' The pane of glass is surely the poet's vision or imagination which Frost sees as inseparable from the pains of labour.

    As Frost says in Birches:

    Earth's the right place for love:
    I don't know where it's likely to go better.
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/19/2008 1:36:00 AM)

    The word in last line of my review about this poem is Picking and not Oicking. (Report) Reply

  • (7/14/2008 3:22:00 PM)

    Hmm.This is a good poem and i really enjoyed it.I think Apples over here points towards first disobedience of Man, or may be writer wants to say that when you get old, load of ur sins increases a lot.Coming of evening shows decresing of ones life.As a man gets old he moves towards death and Frost has dissused an old man who is oicking up apples and night is about to appear which is cold. (Report) Reply

  • (12/25/2007)

    I wrote a paper over this my first year of college, however, I related it to Death. (Report) Reply

  • (8/9/2006 7:41:00 PM)

    I love this poem and basically concur with Mr. Shepherd although I cannot say for certain whether or not Mr. Frost intended a direct reference to the Tempest or not. In any case Shakespeare, Prospero and Frost are all delivering farewell statements. (Report) Reply

  • (11/11/2005 4:42:00 AM)

    I would recommend any lover of poetry, and Frost's poetry, to read first, Prospero's (Shakespeare's) farewell to his art at the end of 'The Tempest'. Frost surely had it in mind when he wrote this, and I think reading this parallel enriches the understanding of both poets and their work. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: sleep, winter, tree, water, heaven, world, night, dream

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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