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Word Count: 725
After Apple Picking Robert Frost Upon my way to sleep before it fell And I could tell What form my dreaming was about to take There is no question here of tones playing against a traditional form rather an original rhythmic form grows out of the dramatic setting and the initial commitment in tone Pre-sleep and sleepy reminiscence of the day condition all that is said and the speakers first words show what form his dreamy talk will take His ladders sticking through a treewhich is accurate and earthybut through a tree Toward heaven As the apple-picker drowses off narrative of fact about the ice skimmed from the trough gets mixed with dream and the time references of the tenses become a bit confused But I was well Upon my way to sleep before it fell And I could tell What form my dreaming was about to take Could tell and was about to take seem to refer both to the morning and to the present state of drowsing off Everything said throughout the poem comes to me through sentences filled with incantatory repetitions and rhymes and in waves of sound linked by likeness of pattern From the opening lines apparently matter-of-fact talk falls into curious chain-like sentences rich in end-rhymes and echoes of many sorts But although the voice seems to be lapsing into the rhyming fits of insomnia the fits shape themselves into distinct and subtly varied patterns Each phase of reminiscence or reflection forms a unit of syntax all except two without a final stop within the unit and each unit becomes in effect a stanza marked off by one or two rhyming seals The last word either introduces a new rhyme that will be picked up in the next stanza The rhymes of the first type link stanza to stanza Those of the second type increase the sense
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