December 3, 2010

After Apple Picking

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--Description: 20th C, Frost R., Dream, Illusion, Nature--

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 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.


Robert Frost

--Did You Know: Born in San Francisco, Frost spent most of his adult life in rural New England and his laconic language and emphasis on individualism in his poetry reflect this region. He attended Dartmouth and Harvard but never earned a degree, and as a young man with growing family he attempted to write poetry while working a farm or teaching school. Read more at: Robert Frost

--Word of the Day: proclivity \pro-KLIV-uh-tee\, noun
A natural inclination; predisposition.
Example: New York City is full of people like Mr. O'Neal -- life-long bibliophiles with a proclivity for accumulation, holed up in compact spaces in the intimate company of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of books.
("For Some, Acquiring Books Has Become a Compulsion", New York Times, July 6, 1997)

--Quote of the Day: "Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures."
(Henry Ward Beecher)


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