A guy has been picking apples all day up on a ladder. He hasn’t picked every last apple, but night is coming and he
is tired. He remembers the strange vision he had that morning when he looked at a bunch of grass through a sheet
of ice he removed from a drinking trough. It looked like the world was melting, and then he dropped the piece of
ce. He may or may not be falling asleep as he has these thoughts. He thinks of how he will dream about apples.
He’s getting sick of harvesting apples – there are so many of them, and he has to be careful not to let them fall.
If an apple falls, it has to be chucked into the heap to use for making cider. Those cider apples are considered
He imagines that these thoughts about worthless apples and dropping things will haunt his sleep. He wonders if it
will be a long, deep sleep, like the hibernation of a woodchuck, or whether it will just be a normal “human” sleep.
(first 8 lines)
After Apple Picking
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.