Robert Frost, After Apple Picking

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“After Apple-Picking” Explication “For I have had too much of apple-picking 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”. This passage from Robert Frost’s “After Apple-Picking” is an epiphany that our protagonist has realized as he approaches the end of his life. The resounding realization we see throughout the passage is about how this tireless man has spent his life picking apples. Through this excerpt the man introduces at the end of our poem to summarize the thought that troubles him as he approaches death. The man seems to be very calm an accepting of this realization that the apples that he had previously worked to harvest apples for all of his life was pointless because “there were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch” and he wasn’t able to harvest them. Instead these apples would “strike the earth, no matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble… as of no worth”. Frost’s choice of using long verses creates a sense of calmness that seems to mask the disappointment and regret in the man’s mind. Frost repeats the word “thousand” to emphasize the idea of uncertainty and infinite amount of apples, a metaphor for oppurtunities missed and taken in life, that he could never fulfill in this lifetime. The pauses in the verse, “cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall” create an emphasis on the extreme value of these apples that have gone to waste. This passage is important to our understanding of the purpose of this man’s poem on apple-picking. We meet a man who knows that his life is coming to an end. Death is waiting for him right around the corner and he is uncertain as to “whether it’s a long
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