After Apple-Picking

by Robert Frost

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What is your critical appreciation of Frost's "After Apple-Picking"?

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This poem has an unusual structure that serves to force the reader to pay attention, even as the speaker drifts off peacefully. It is a rhyming poem—every line ends with a word that rhymes with another—it just doesn't follow a particular scheme. This is demonstrated in lines 7–12, which have an A B A C B C rhyming pattern. However, this is immediately followed by an A B B B A pattern in lines 13–17. This recognizable but inconsistent rhyme pattern makes the reader search for a consistency in rhythm and rhyme that simply isn't there. The speed of each line also varies. Although the meter is iambic, the amount of iambs in each line massively varies. Consider line 40: "The woodchuck could say whether it's like his." This is a fairly standard example of iambic pentameter that is easy to recognize, especially because line 41 is also in iambic pentameter. However, even as the last line, "Or just some human sleep," embodies the narrater finally drifting off, the iambic trimeter is almost like being cut off in the middle of a sentence when it is compared to the ten-syllable previous lines

Although "After Apple-Picking" could easily drone on, being a fairly long poem where not much really happens, the unstandardized rhyme and meter serve as a contrast to the content of the poem and keep the reader active throughout every line.

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In writing the poem“After Apple-Picking” Frost did not usefree verse, but still it is fairly informal. This evocate work has forty-two lines, which vary from two to eleven syllables of length. The rhyme scheme  is quite irregular with quite a few of the rhyme lines being widely separated. The poem hasn't any stanza breaks. The mood is hesitant and sleepy, as if the speaker were about to drop off to sleep and is becoming drowsy and confused. Frost wrote the work in the first person; the speaker  has laboured for hours and is now exhausted by toil and the emotional experience. The day's work events are recalled while thinking about the dream he might have later and may contain,as the poem does, images of the pastoral world. All these memories took place in his orchard where he has climbed a ladder to pick apples, and maybe left it it a bit late to harvest and so he got more tired.

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