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)
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.
"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."