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Quotes

Quote #1

We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,
Grayed in, and gray (1–2)

This drab scene of "dry hours," "plans," and "gray" is pretty much the picture of dissatisfaction. How unsatisfying would it be to flog yourself through your daily life without any relief in sight?

Quote #2

"Dream" makes a giddy sound, not strong
Like "rent," "feeding a wife," "satisfying a man." (2–3)

The speaker of this poem seems to think that practical things are stronger than dreams, and that's what he or she needs to focus on. While paying rent and taking care of the ones you love does seem pretty important, it looks like it could be a recipe for a life of dissatisfaction if there is no space for dreams, too.

Quote #3

But could a dream send up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes (4–5)

Here the speaker seems to be entertaining the idea of a more satisfying life—one where dreams could be pursued—but it wouldn't be without a fight. The path to satisfaction is blocked by the all-too-real stench of fried food, and it looks like it would be pretty tough to find a way around.

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