The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday and Countryside Artisans

After Apple-Picking
By Robert Frost

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 rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking 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 disappear,
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 ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.


Saturday was one of the days of the Countryside Artisans Winter Tour, so after a somewhat slow morning due to the fact that we were all up late the night before because of Blast, we all had lunch and drove up first to Art of Fire to see glassblowing and the visiting craftspeople who also frequent the Renfaire (Allen Ye Printmaker, Dancing Pig Pottery). Then we tried to stop at A Paca Fun Farm, but they weren't open -- though by the time we discovered that, we had driven by many fields full of curious alpacas and photographed a couple of them. From there we went to Dancing Leaf Farm, where we were bummed to discover that the sheep are out of residence while their enclosure is being repaired, and to Sugarloaf Studio. Everyone had hot cider and cookies, which was very nice.

The beautiful glasswork at Art of Fire...

...shares space with two cats (one friendly, one a hellion).

Dancing Leaf Farm has a large friendly dog in residence...

...and beautiful home-spun yarns -- son bought some for his girlfriend who knits.

The dog, however, was forlorn not to be allowed to eat the gingerbread cookies.

The chickens at Dancing Leaf Farm claimed to be ravenous as well. We were not convinced.

All of the Countryside Artisans are in the vicinity of Sugarloaf Mountain on the county border.

Here we are reflected in one of the ornaments outside Sugarloaf Studio.

Adam went off to work at Blast with his girlfriend around dinnertime, so Paul (whose mom's birthday was Saturday) brought in California Tortilla and we watched the new Celtic Woman concert on PBS -- more pop Broadway than I'd prefer, I wish they'd sing more in Celtic languages and I miss when Orla played the harp, but I always like the vocal arrangements of the songs and it is really nice to see a bestselling group in which none of the lead singers is a size 2. Then we watched a bit of the college football conference championship games before another concert on PBS, this time Paul Simon, which was excellent -- lots from Graceland and So Beautiful or So What but also a lot of older songs. Now we are waiting for Adam to get done partying with the tech crew!

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