After Apple-Picking Questions and Answers
by Robert Frost

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What are the various activities of the apple picker?

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In the beginning he is just finishing up his apple picking.  He says that he may have left a few in the tree, and the barrel isn't quite full, but he is finished.

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.

Then he picked up a sheet of ice that had formed on the water trough and dropped it.  Looking through it perhaps made him drowsy, and he speaks of possible being asleep and dreaming at this point.

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

Then he listens as the "load on load" of apples coming into the cellar. He again speaks of his longing for sleep and hopes that he didn't bruise any of the apples--so they would all be good and not used for cider.

No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,

Went surely to the cider-apple heap         35

As of no worth.

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