After Apple Picking (Robert Frost)

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While reading  Robert Frost's After Apple Picking, I found the 18th - 20th lines particularly interesting:

"Magnified apples appear and disappear,

 Stem end and blossom end,

 And every fleck of russet showing clear."

I looked up russet to find that it is a brownish, roughened area of a fruit from disease, insects, or spraying. While considring the entire poem, I took the bruised fruits to symbolize broken people. Frost states that one can only clearly see the bruises when the apples are magnified, suggesting that nothing is what it seems. In other words, everyone may look as if they have it together on the exterior, but only if you look closely can you see the various things threatening to unglue them. A few lines down Frost goes on to say, "I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend." The tree is struggling to support the tremendous burden of the subtle aches of the apples, as any one of us would in the attempt to bear the burdens of those aroound us.





Aja Hannah said:

In my interpretation, I saw the apples as desires and your train of thought is interesting. If the apples were desires and they had a diseased area on them, then perhaps the desires were faulty. Or maybe that is where (if he continued pushing through that path) his goals or desires failed.

Carlos Peredo said:

I like what you mean, but I might even take it one step further. If you assume that those apples that fell were apples that the narrator dropped (which isn't necessarily true of all of them but could be of some) then you could even add a level of guilt that the narrator is feeling.

Perhaps the narrator let someone or some people down and, as a result, is a cause of some of their bruising. Perhaps he feels guilty that those apples are no longer good to eat because he let them slip through his fingers.

Rosalind Blair said:

The bruised fruit in this poem could definitely symbolize broken people. It is easy for individuals to see someone’s exterior, and immediately shy away from them, without ever taking the time to investigate what caused that person to act they way they do. Frost may be trying to teach a lesson about judgment. You cannot judge a person based solely on what your eyes can see. You must first understand each individual’s personal situation before you can even consider passing judgment.

Andrew Adams said:

This interpretation is much different that what I had gotten out of this poem, and is quite interesting. I took the apples to be Frost's dreams and aspirations. This means that some of his dreams were incomplete (apples still remain to be picked) and that some were not exactly what he wanted (apples being bruised). However, I often find myself relating poetry to life as a whole and lose sight that it could be about certain individuals. I feel both interpretations are plausible, which is what makes poetry interesting.

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