Robert Frost is the author of the poems “After Apple-Picking” and “The Road Not Taken”, and many other poetic works of literature, as well as one of the most famous poets of America. He has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry four times. Robert Frost subtly felt human emotions, grief, and joy. Frost’s poetic anthologies were characterized by psychologism and a philosophical manner. He glorified stoicism and masterfully mastered poetic rhyme, distinguished by laconic expressions. The author’s poetry has many symbols, images, and figurative language, which makes his poems profound, but sometimes difficult to understand. Although various ways can help the author to make the work strong, symbols, images, allegories, and the language of images will help significantly enhance the literary creation.
Frost’s subtext is realized through the use of allusions, which is vividly shown in the poem “After Apple-Picking”. The allusion is hidden even in the very title of the poem, and it simultaneously implies both the natural process of picking apples and the human condition after the fall. The concrete action thought, and utterance of the hero acquires a general philosophical meaning with the help of the author’s subtext, and the poems become a clarification of life. The apple picker is fascinated by big apples, which is expressed through the lines: “Magnified apples appear and disappear, Stem end and blossom end, And every fleck of russet showing clear” (Frost). The symbols in the poem mean life, death, spirit, and others, which are demonstrated through apples, and the state of the picker of these apples.
The two-pointed staircase is another symbol of the poem. This ladder is used by the picker to pick apples but to interpret this as an example from the Bible. Jacob dreamed of a similar ladder that angels use to descend and ascend. Robert Frost actively uses symbols that make the work brighter and more profound. His symbols are not very optimistic as sensual and emotional. He uses elements of nature as symbols, for example, large fragrant apples, and bent branches that create the impression that the staircase is swinging, as well as a picturesque description of dreams. In general, the poem describes the state of the apple picker in which he is between the world of dreams and reality.
Another poem by Robert Frost called “The Road Not Taken” tells the story of a lonely traveler who has two roads. These roads are the symbols that demonstrate the way of life and the decisions that can be made. This poem is a reflection of the author’s perception of life, as well as the author’s favorite theme, namely nature. In addition to the two paths, the work reveals the piece of the tree and the beauty of nature, which unite and create a solid overall picture. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” (Frost). The wood in this work is a symbol of the wisdom that nature and people have accumulated over the years. The tree is a kind of message from a person who has a lot of experience over the years and recommends that people think about their every step.
The path in this poem is a symbol of the future, and everyone can choose what it will be if they choose one or another direction. Nature is also a kind of symbol that shows that people are drawn to the truth and strive to find it. Frost seeks to use nature as the main symbol of human nature, wisdom, and knowledge. The author is a romantic because his descriptions of nature are closely related to how people can suffer. People need change even though their world may be stable and orderly.
The poem shows how difficult the choice can be, but people are forced to make it because their future life will depend on it. The forest in the poem also has its meaning. No matter how much one wants to go along each of the paths, they still need to choose one of them, and even though each of them will be difficult, it will still be pleasant and meaningful to overcome this path. There is an understatement in the author’s poem, a mystery that the reader must see and interpret correctly.
In conclusion, Robert Frost has put deep meaning into each of his poems, which can be understood by understanding what each symbol means. His poems are romantic and filled with various symbols and allegories and are written in the language of images in general. “After Apple-Picking” is a poem in which a person is between the world of dreams and reality, he collects large fragrant fruits in a basket, admiring and enjoying what he sees. Another work of the author, “The Road Not Taken,” shows that people have two paths, and one of them is the path of wisdom and great experience. In each poem, there are many symbols that, through the elements of nature, show the reader something special. The use of images significantly enhances poetry and makes it more profound and more expressive since there is something specific and secret hidden under each symbol.
Frost, Robert. After Apple-Picking. Poetry Foundation, 1914.
Frost, Robert. The Road Not Taken. Poetry Foundation, 1916.