What this blog is and how to use it

This blog contains poems that have caught my attention over the years. Many of the poems I've discussed and explored with 16 -19 year old students in my capacity as lecturer in English.

Browse the list of poems by scrolling down the page or read the titles of poems or names of poets in the sidebar 'Poem Titles and Poets'. Then click on the title or poet.

Monday 9 January 2012

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.            5
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.

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