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At North Farm (April 25th)

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by

Sydney Rossi

on 25 April 2013

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Transcript of At North Farm (April 25th)

By John Ashbery At North Farm A place in the Finnish folk epic "The Kalevala"

Known to be "gloomy and prosperous"

Near hell, but not in it
Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you,
At incredible speed, traveling day and night,
Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents, through narrow passes.
But will he know where to find you,
Recognize you when he sees you,
Give you the thing he has for you?

Hardly anything grows here,
Yet the granaries are bursting with meal,
The sacks of meal piled to the rafters.
The streams run with sweetness, fattening fish;
Birds darken the sky. Is it enough
That the dish of milk is set out at night,
That we think of him sometimes,
Sometimes and always, with mixed feelings? North Farm Theme Anticipation of an arrival
Uncertainty The feeling of uncertainty is created through the repeated use of
interrogative sentences throughout the poem Although there is not a question mark after each line,
these three lines serve as three individual questions and together they form one large interrogative sentence. "But will he know where to find you,
Recognize you when he sees you,
Give you the thing he has for you?" "...Is it enough
That the dish of milk is set out at night,
That we think of him sometimes,
Sometimes and always, with mixed feelings?" While Ashbery doesn't separate these questions into four separate interrogative sentences, the phrasing and punctuation at the end of each line encourages readers to read it as four individual questions. use of interrogative sentences Through the repeated in his poem, Ashbery is able to
raise a sense of uncertainty,
that is essential to the poem's
ambiguity and overall tone. If the lines had been declarative statements instead, the poem would have had an entirely different feeling to it and wouldn't convey the same message or theme. Somewhere someone is traveling furiously towards you,
At incredible speed, traveling day and night,
Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents, through narrow passes.
He will know where to find you.
He will recognize you when he sees you.
He will give you the thing he has for you.

Hardly anything grows here,
Yet the granaries are bursting with meal,
The sacks of meal piled to the rafters.
The streams run with sweetness, fattening fish;
Birds darken the sky. It is enough
That the dish of milk is set out at night,
It is enough that we think of him sometimes,
Sometimes and always, with mixed feelings. When the interrogative sentences are replaced with
declarative ones instead, the poem has a much
more intense, forceful feel to it, which we can assume isn't what Ashbery intended. A simple change of sentence types can change the entire feel of a poem. Any Questions
or
Comments?
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