| Quote #4
"I have news!" she gasped. "Popeye, forced as you know to flee the country
Olive's language combines several different kinds of speech, from the childish enjoyment of words ("musty gusty") to difficult philosophical reflections ("his own astonished becoming"). From quotes like this, you can see why Ashbery is often considered a postmodern or experimental writer.
| Quote #5
She grabbed Swee'pea. "I'm taking the brat to the country." (28)
Right after delivering her "news," which is full of complicated phrases and lots of adjectives, Olive makes this matter-of-fact statement. How can this quote be the same person speaking?
| Quote #6
Popeye chuckled and scratched
Popeye is the only character who does not speak in the poem – unless you think that the undecoded messages were written by his hand. But the final line paraphrases his thoughts of contentment. He's not ecstatic about the country, but he finds it "pleasant." Also, the crudeness of Popeye scratching his balls is almost like a response to the slightly pretentious, upper middle-class tone of the rest of the poem.