From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape

Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape


by John Ashbery

Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape Theme of Man and the Natural World

When Olive tells the other characters that there won't be any more sunny days or mossy trees, "Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape" expresses something the reader might have suspected all along: these characters are very isolated from nature. Despite having a title that suggests nature paintings, the Sea Hag and company mostly stay in the apartment, eat things, and talk in lofty sentences. Even the awesome power of thunder becomes harmless and "domestic" in the poem's final stanza.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. Are there any images of "wild" nature in this poem, or is nature always domesticated and suited to human needs?
  2. Which character is most closely associated with nature?
  3. How does the apartment protect or isolate the characters from nature? Is this a good or a bad thing?
  4. Put yourself in Ashbery's shoes for a minute. Why would he have given the title "Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape," and how does the title affect the way you approach the poem?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Popeye's consciousness belongs to an earlier period of history when man was not isolated from nature.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...