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Theme in Yellow

Theme in Yellow


by Carl Sandburg

Theme in Yellow Theme of Man and the Natural World

Man and nature: the two are kind of welded into one when it comes to our pumpkin-speaker in "Theme in Yellow." The man is the natural, autumnal world in "Theme in Yellow," so we get the extra bonus of hearing about nature straight from the source. Of course, we know that we're in Poetry Land, where things aren't always literal, but it's still cool to hear man talking about nature while imagining himself as a pumpkin.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. How does the poem's imagery change with the natural world? What words indicate the time of year we're in (besides "autumn")?
  2. How does having a pumpkin-speaker make the natural world somewhat more understandable for readers? Would it have sounded any different if the speaker were human?
  3. What's the relationship between the natural world and youth? How do the two get along?
  4. How does the repetition of that "I am" clause contribute to man's understanding of the natural world?

Chew on This

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

When man becomes pumpkin, the natural world suddenly looks a whole lot more human. Trippy.

Even though the pumpkin's the star of the show, we can't help but see it as a man also, which makes the natural world less natural. Bummer.

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