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Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape

Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape

by John Ashbery

Man and the Natural World Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape (Title)

The title of the poem is a parody of the title of a landscape painting. European painters often painted scenes of natural beauty in which nature is tamed and domesticated for human use. Unlike a city, the agricultural landscape is not overpowered by human activity. The title presents an old-fashioned view of nature.

Quote #2

"Popeye sits in thunder,
Unthought of. From that shoebox of an apartment,
From livid curtain's hue, a tangram emerges: a country." (1-3)

The first stanza sets up a contrast between Popeye, who sits in some unspecified "country," and a small, cramped apartment. Apartments are associated with urban life. People in the city don't think about what is going on in the country, and Popeye is "unthought of."

Quote #3

Olive came hurtling through the window; its geraniums scratched
Her long thigh. (19-20)

Isn't there a 1980s movie about killer flowers? Seriously, who gets injured by flower petals? Olive's scratching is a sign of how humans and nature don't quite get along in this poem.

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