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Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape

Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape


by John Ashbery

Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape Dissatisfaction Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (line)

Quote #1

The apartment
Seemed to grow smaller. "But what if no pleasant
Inspiration plunge us now to the stars? For this is my country." (10-12)

The characters sense that the apartment feels cramped and confining. Wimpy worries, "Is this it?" He wants to be inspired and to travel through the galaxy, at least metaphorically. We don't know how else to describe his dissatisfaction other than to say that he wants something "more" than what the apartment has to offer.

Quote #2

But Swee'pea looked morose. A note was pinned to his bib. "Thunder
And tears are unavailing," it read. "Henceforth shall Popeye's apartment
Be but remembered space, toxic or salubrious, whole or scratched." (16-18)

Swee'pea's expression is "morose," or depressed. We're inclined to think that his expression has something to do with the note pinned to his chest, announcing that Popeye's apartment now belongs to the past. But it's hard to make firm logical connections between different parts of the poem. The poem is filled with loose associations or non sequitors, events that don't seem to follow from what came before.

Quote #3

rupturing the pleasant

Arpeggio of our years. No more shall pleasant
Rays of the sun refresh your sense of growing old, nor the scratched
Tree-trunks and mossy foliage, only immaculate darkness and thunder." (24-27)

"Pleasant" is one of the six words that is repeated throughout the sestina. "Pleasant" is a very weak word for a happiness that is only momentary. The characters in the poem lived pleasant lives before, but now they suddenly find themselves in the dark and surrounded by thunder. What's more, they have lost the beauty of nature.

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