* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Parsley

Parsley

by Rita Dove

Wealth Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

There is a parrot imitating spring
in the palace, its feathers parsley green. (lines 1-2)

The very opening of "Parsley" suggests wealth – immediately we have a palace, in which the parrot (which, we'll remember, is one of the driving symbols of the poem) is sitting like a kind of jewel. Also, when we think of the color green, we might recall some natural things – plants, spring, growth – but we also think of money, no? This is probably not coincidental.

Quote #2

and it flowered, each spring stolidly forming
four-star blossoms. (lines 25-26)

Mostly what's significant about this quote is the "four-star" bit. It would be one thing if the poem were referring to an actual plant (and maybe there were blossoms above his mother's grave; we can't know). But the thing that's supposed to be "flowering" here is Trujillo's mother's walking cane. This doesn't make sense, realistically. That's OK, though. What it implies, we think, is a kind of successful lineage. As in, Trujillo's mother has produced a four-star general, with a four-star life.

Quote #3

He orders pastries
brought up for the bird; they arrive
dusted with sugar on a bed of lace. (lines 40-42)

Well this is a bit of an extravagant gesture for a pet bird, don't you think? We'd say so, and we also think that it's a deliberate contrast between what's going on in the palace (birds being fed from lace-lined plates) and what's going on outside of it (enslaved Haitians dying by the thousands on the whim of one man).

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement