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Quotes

Quote #1

"Dream" makes a giddy sound, not strong (1)

This first mention of dreams isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. Things that aren't strong are probably weak. A weak dream doesn't likely stand much of a chance of coming true.

Quote #2

But could a dream send up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
And yesterday's garbage ripening in the hall, (4–6)

Looks like we're getting a sense of what these dreams are up against—tough stuff, the grind and stink of everyday life. Brooks begins to pose the question at the heart of the poem: Will a "giddy," "not strong" dream be able to rise above it all?

Quote #3

Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms (7)

This line echoes the question of lines 4–6. The speaker seems to think it unlikely that a dream could create its beautiful music in a place of such racket. It would seem out of place, like someone dressed in a ball gown to wash the bathroom floor.

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