34 pages 1 hour read

Robert Frost

After Apple-Picking

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1914

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Literary Context

“After Apple-Picking” maintains some traditional rhyme and meter elements, as did much of its era’s poetry. However, the poem does not maintain a rhyme scheme as it progresses. The poem’s longer lines are written in iambic pentameter—with which most readers will be familiar in Shakespearean verse—and the shorter lines utilize di-, tri-, and tetrameter. Shortened lines and the disruption in meter keep the reader “awake.” During the time period in which Frost wrote and published “After Apple-Picking,” poets still incorporated traditional elements of meter and rhyme, but they were gradually becoming more experimental. While Frost isn’t considered an experimental poet, the deviations in meter in his poems set him apart from his peers. At this point in history—particularly in British history—writers during the Edwardian Era drifted from the stereotypical themes of the Victorian Era (gender, family issues, and class), and instead focused on metaphorically and symbolically representing subversive ideas, often in opposition to nature. Frost’s early poetry regularly conveyed sympathy for the working-class. The rapid increase in industrialization concerned both the British and the Americans. “After Apple-Picking” contradicts this concern by portraying a quaint, pastoral scene devoid of potentially disastrous human interference.