Original poem reprinted online here: "Unharvested" by Robert Frost
Originally read: October 5, 2013
More information about the Poet: Robert Frost
An Elizabethan sonnet separated out with a ten line stanza and then a quatrain. However, the first stanza could be separated out by two quatrains.
A scent of ripeness from over a wall
And come to leave the routine road
And look for what had made me stall,
There sure enough was an apple tree.
Cause and effect. The speaker here is on a "routine road" and then stops with the smell of "ripeness" -- presumably apples or something more. What this stanza does is focus the poem to what the scent means to the speaker.
That had eased itself of its summer load,
And of all but its trivial foliage free
Now breathed as light as a lady's fan
For there had been an apple fall
Note the play of language coinciding with the seasons -- summer as the season, fall as the verb. But note the focus on the visual, the "ripeness" is from the end of cycle -- the last load of a tree. And note how the simile is to a "lady's fan" which has pointed implications to something like a relationship or the past.
As complete as the apple had given man
The ground was one circle of solid red
May something go always unharvested!
May much stay out of our started plan.
Here the speaker is solid in his lesson. Note that the mention of man here can have implications to Genesis and the question can be what has the apple given man? However, the lesson of "much stay out of our started pan" feels more like the speaker impressing than interpreting the scene. Is it really out of plan to have the apple fall?
"Apples or something forgotten and left, / So smelling their sweetness would be no theft" So, if the apple (or "started plans") go awry, the "smell" of would be "no theft" -- here's where the poem gets tricky for me. Not theft as in no stealing anything, or no theft as in not theft, rather the opposite, responsibility.
The images are strong here, the poem though has different enough avenues to be taken into different interpretations. I can't pinpoint one though (one hour later) I still can't pinpoint one, but what's going through my head is: adultery, Genesis, power, structure, nature, natural fall, unnatural fall, seasons, smell, what is smell in conjunction with memory, what is taken from a fleeting sensation? etc...yeah, sorry bout that.