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AFTER APPLE-PICKING BY ROBERT FROST 1.he poet like every owner of the garden desired a great harvest.

(Of the great harvest I myself desired.) 2. The poet almost had finished his work of apple picking. (There may be two or three apples I did not pick upon some bough.) 3. The poet in the particular season did not have good harvest despite he desires. He could only fill half of the barrel. (And there is a barrel I did not fill) 4. The poem besides a psychological effect of the of the activity is also a spiritual experience The poem After Apple Picking depicts the poets strange experience rather mystic vision of mixing up reality with dream. In a sleep-wake condition he is rocked between dream and reality but he fails to understand the nature of this sleep. He can differentiate whether it is a dream or reality. On a certain day the poet remained, busy in his garden in picking apples all the time from morn to eve. After the whole day's labour he felt quite exhausted. Scent of the ripe apples exerted on him influence in the form of drowsiness. With this intoxicating smell and fatigue the poet was overwhelmed with sleep; therefore, he was lost in the world of dream in which he saw the magnified apples more than ten thousand. The rumbling sound of the apples in the store was easily audible to him. It was all too good to be believed. The poet overjoyed at this great harvest as it was the realization of his desire. As the poet had his produce more than sufficient, he did not care for the apples if they were spiked or bruised. In sweetness of his dream the poet could not forget exhaustion of his daily routine. It seemed to him that reality and dream were intermingled into inseparable oneness. Then the poet recalled the breaking of the glass like sheet of ice in the morning, it also refers that the thin glassy wall that makes division between the world of reality and the world of dream was shattered to mingle both the world into one. The poet wavered between a sleep-wake condition. This mysterious condition lasted for quite some time. On stepping out of the world of dream the poet himself was baffled and could not differentiate whether his sleep was long sleep of death or just some human sleep. Like all other poems of Frost, this poem too can be read on more than one level. Apple-picking is the symbol of the human activities in life. Drowsiness stands for

the sleep of death. The poet in this poem wants to tell us that the world of Dream and Reality are correlated, of ten wishes are fulfilled in dream which remain unfulfilled in the worldly, as happened with the poet who had a great desire for the rich crop, Of the great harvest I myself desired but in reality he did not have enough crop even to fulfil his barrel, There is a barrel I didnt fill. Though Robert Frost himself comments about the poem, it is just about the apple-picking yet the poem has symbolic significance. Apples represent all the goals and deeds in his power he could achieve and the unfilled barrel represents the poets unfulfilled deeds, drowsiness refers encroaching death, dream indicate the state of death and the ten thousand magnified apples indicate many times multiplied reward of the good deeds performed in the life. 1. Describe the poets pleasant experience of apple picking. Robert Frost, the poet has done too much of his routine work and he is now terribly exhausted. He has cherished the hope of reaping a rich harvest of apples, but he not has harvested sufficient produce as he desired. He could only fill half of the container and after the activity has been completed he becomes disgusted with his drudgery. Later on his exhaustion rocks him into the world of dream in which he experiences a very vivid vision. In drowsiness he can not discriminate between dream and reality. He sees numerous apples even more than ten thousand, all of great magnitude. This condition lasts for a certain span of time then he comes into sense; the world of colour and taste. The poet is still so confused and baffled that he can not decide which world is reality and which one is the world of dream. The poet does not know the actual nature of his sleep whether his sleep was the long sleep of the woodchuck one night-long human sleep. The experience the poet undergoes is on the one hand is pleasant as he tastes the pleasure of rich harvest and on the other hand it is mind baffling that the poet finds very close relationship between dream and reality. 2. What does the empty barrel signify in After Apple Picking? Robert Frost, the poet in the beginning of the poem mentions that after applepicking his barrel is still empty. The empty barrel literally signifies the unfinished work but symbolically it refers to a heap of unfulfilled desires. Although the applepicker has been trying his utmost to fill his barrel with the apples picked by him, yet it is still empty because the apple tree did not bear enough fruit as the poet desired. In other words it may be elaborated, though the poet was on the last

step of the ladder, he enjoyed himself high place in the world yet he cold not perform enough good deeds, when death encroached barrel of his deeds was half filled. Sleep which itself signifies death reaches the poet when his activities were still unaccomplished, and he require some more years. Though he fills half of the barrel yet he harvests generous reward in the world hereafter for a few noble deeds he performed in his life in the form ten thousand apples of great size and magnitude. 3. How is the world of reality and dreams mixed up in this poem? Robert Frost, in this poem inter-mingles the world of reality and dreams. In reality, he is picking normal apples while standing on his two pointed ladder but, in dream, he sees apples of great size and magnitude. In sleep he vacillates between two poles of reality and dream. The poet in fact describes close relationship between dream and realty, life and death. The ambitions which often remain unfulfilled in the world of reality are realized in the world of dream. The dreamer enjoys himself with the same tastes, colours, smells and the pleasures of touch. In reality, the poet experiences he limited capacity of his physical labour but in dream he observes unlimited capacity of his imagination. The poet himself becomes as baffled and confused as it is difficult for him to suggest the solution whether the world which we consider reality is the real world or a mere optical illusion. 4. What kind of sleep does Robert Frost sleep? While performing his work of picking apples, Robert Frosts fatigue makes him feel extreme drowsiness. His fatigue and scent of the apples mingle and overpower the poets mind. In drowsiness he begins to see dream and he gets the vision of magnified apples. He hears them rumbling when emptied out of the barrels. The apple-picker has actually got tired of seeing the routine of loading and unloading of his apples. He admits that he himself has desired such a bumper harvest. Despite his utmost care, the apple-picker cannot throw the apples undamaged in his barrel. Some of them fall down from the barrel and are pricked by the stubbles. The dream is s much clear and vivid that it becomes difficult for the apple-picker to make difference between reality and dream. When he wakes up, he asks himself in his astonishment what kind of sleep it is. He is too confused to know whether it is a woodchucks long sleep of hibernation or a short human sleep of one night only. He does not suggest the answer and leaves to the reader

to draw conclusion. Muhammad Shanazar (Pakistan) shanazar@hotmail.com

P- The poem is about a dream that the speaker had. In this dream his life was full of excess, of ambition and the guilt of the way that he fulfilled his desires. How those desires became his nightmare and how he was tired of the same. C- Personification: Line 40: The woodchucks sleep Symbolism: The tree = Symbolizes life Allusion: Ladder: Refers to the ways that the speaker needed to get through life The barrel: Refers to the mere ambition. The barrel that the speaker wanted to fulfill with apples Apples: Refers to the desires or riches that the speaker wanted to accumulate. Pane of glass: conscience Hoary grass: Season specifically winter. A- The tone is purely regret, sadness end. I feel sorry for the speaker, he accumulated too much that at the end he was overtired of what he once wanted S- Line 14 S- 8 stanzas of 5 lines T - Its pretty much the same, but a lot more detailed.