The choice of diction in Harvest remains unexplained- it could refer to the physical apples, the metaphorical chances or to spiritual concepts. This links back to the subject matters of regret, death and sleep- the poet emphasizes his regret in “there were ten thousand thousand”. The repetition of the word thousand seems to emphasize the amount of opportunity he had but yet failed to realize. A sense of frustration is also felt in the plosive “For all” – the poet is frustrated in the immediate categorization and castigation of any apple that fell.
The lack of opportunity for the “apple” to prove itself, as it were, is a metaphysical allusion to religion and a critique of categorizing people into “good vs. bad”. Frost keeps the most intriguing devices for his poem to the last. Thus far, Frost has confined himself to the explicit use of imagery and an acute notice of emotions to serve as a medium for his thoughts. However, the languid tone that pervades the poem is succored in the last passage when he talks unambiguously about sleep for the first time.
This is made apparent in his choice of diction: “One” instead of “I”. By snapping out of his first person narrative, the apple picker distances him from the dreamlike quality of the poem and into a sharper dialogue. The selection of the woodchuck is a metaphor for physical sleep; however, Frost also implies sit may be some kind of longer sleep. That the poet remains unsure and undecided by the end of the poem shows suspension between not-life and not-death; where language is narcotized toward incoherence and lack of control.
This final analysis makes sense in the methods explored earlier: the 2 possible analyses applied to the poem and the lack of resolution by the poems end. In the end, the poet shows that his exertions have left him so fatigue that he could “sleep like the dead”. Indeed the final line expresses a diminished sense of “human sleep,” a diminished sense of the labor, knowledge, and aspiration. It is the lack of definite analyses or poet’s intention that is the poet’s purpose here- to create and undecided poem, mimicking his own fatigue and the “drowsing off” of the speaker as he rambles on.
The last point to be analysed can be found in Frost’s style. He resorts to biblical allusion at several points, which his intended audience- 20th century Americans- would be able to grasp with ease. This is combined with abstract metaphor for sleep as death, sky for heaven, ladder for ascension and hoary grass for earth. Frost completes this jigsaw with his acute sensory perception, explicit use of imagery and multiple emotions (fatigue, desire, frustration, resignation). This gives it the unique transcendentalist touch- indeed; Frost seems to avoid labeling his poem with a definite message.
Whilst the biblical allusion ascribes to his audience’s spiritual consciousness his use of imagery induces emotions which mirror his own. “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost is an ambiguous poem that should be celebrated for its lack of a definite meaning and acclaimed for its unique transcendentalist nature. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section. Download this essay Print Save Top Here’s what a star student thought of this essay 5 star(s).