The Use of Metaphors in Frost's, “After Apple Picking”, “Birches”, and “The Silken Tent”

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Robert Frost was a man who went through several challenging obstacles in his life. In his poems, he uses a great deal of orientational metaphor that expresses such difficult times. This poet, can also be considered a realist, he believes it’s necessary for things to break down. According to Frost, “All metaphor breaks down somewhere. That is the beauty of it. It is touch and go with the metaphor, and until you have lived with it long enough you don’t know when it is going. You don’t know how much you can get out of it and when it will cease to yield. It is a very living thing. It is as life itself”. His poems use metaphors to give main concepts spatial orientation; he gives meaning to them by showing a journey of going toward …show more content…
Heaven, for Frost is used to represent his thoughts of passing on and this is an example of him reflecting upon his life, relating to his original belief of writing metaphors. Using the metaphors “toward heaven”, there were things in his life that were left unfulfilled “a barrel that I didn’t fill” but is willing to accept it and acknowledges that he has accomplished managing the harvest. According to Philip L. Gerber, “The first comes with an obtrusive gesture in the poem’s second line; it’s seemingly gratuitous reference to the ladder’s pointing “toward heaven still”. Without straining the issue, the word heaven elicits subconscious responses involving death and immortality.” (Charters 1160). Frost also looks back on his life wondering if he made the right choices. “…Beside it, and there might be two or three/ apples I didn’t pick upon some bough…” (Charters 1011) is a representation of that thought. In addition, this metaphor illustrates that throughout his life he wasn’t able to do everything as planned. Moreover, another example of orientational metaphor from “After Apple Picking” is going back down to earth. “… I got from looking through a pane of glass/ And held against the world of hoary grass/ It melted, and I let it fall and break…” (Charters 1011 -1012) is a part of the poem where Frost gives an entirely different meaning to a concept. In these lines, he gives a personal perspective of how he is willing to accept the direction of his life.

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