Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape
by John Ashbery
Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (line)
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." (25-27)
Olive's description of being "refreshed" by natural beauty comes as a surprise. As far as we can tell, these characters spend most of their time lounging around and eating spinach. For some reason, Popeye's thunder has crowded out those parts of nature that once gave them pleasure. "Scratched tree-trunks and mossy foliage" sounds like an image out of a landscape painting.
Minute at first, the thunder
Soon filled the apartment. It was domestic thunder,
The color of spinach. Popeye chuckled and scratched
His balls: it sure was pleasant to spend a day in the country. (36-39)
Thunder and lightning are one of the most spectacular displays that nature has to offer. And green, spinach-colored lightning sounds especially awesome. But the lightning that fills the apartment is tamed and brought down to human scale. The image shows how humans have the power to alter their own perception of nature.