Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Orchard of My Youth

After Apple Picking

Having spent a few Saturdays in my youth out in the orchard picking apples I feel a bit of nostalgia as I contemplate Robert Frost's take on this autumn activity. - JH

After Apple Picking

Poem lyrics of 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 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.


Asha Stephen said...

Do you actually own 3986 books? (it says so on your librarything catalog). I own ninety-two. I am in awe!!

James said...

Yes, but my library is not even in the fifty largest catalogued at www.librarything.com.

Asha Stephen said...

Dear goodness!!! It must be such a delight to stand in your library and even just look around, let alone own it and sit there and relax and read. I wish I could be you. :)