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Abandoned Farmhouse

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by

George Marlow

on 21 April 2014

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Transcript of Abandoned Farmhouse

Tone/Attitude
The tone of this poem is rather sad and melancholy. The tone is sad because it talks about a farmer being abandoned by his wife and child. It is melancholy becuase the family lived a simple life on a farm but all of was torn away from the farmer when they left him.
Abandoned Farmhouse
by Ted Kooser

Abandoned Farmhouse
He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm--a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

Paraphrase
The owner was a big man judging his shoes left by broken dishes in the house;
the length of his bed says he was a tall man, as well as a believer in God because of the dusty bible lying by the window
but not a very good farming by the looks of his fields, cluttered with rocks and boulders.

He lived with his wife, says the flowers and the decorated kitchen shelves, and a small child, by the looks of the tattered sandbox made of tire.
Judging by the food that was stored, they lived in poverty.
The winters must have been cold because of the rags and sheets on the windows.
The narrow country road to the barn says they were lonely.

Something must have happened to the family says the abandoned house. Rocks throughout the field show he was not a good farmer, and the jars of food in the cellar leads to believe they left in a hurry.
The child's toys are scattered across the pasture.
People say something bad happened.
Connotation
Title
Abandoned Farmhouse

Abandoned farmhouse conveys a sad and lonely feeling and picture. There are not any characters in this poem, only the possessions they left behind.
Abandoned Farmhouse
by Ted Kooser
Simile
"toys are strewn in the yard like branches after a storm."
This brings the image of a storm to your head which has a very dark feeling.

Alliteration Personification
-"good, God-fearing man" -"say the fields"
-"Bible with a broken back" -"says the bedroom wall"

Imagery
"a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;"
This brings about an amazing image of an old, worn out Bible that has sitting there for years.
Shifts
In the last sentence, the poem shifts from talking about the family when they lived in the barn to the present day with people's perspective of the barn because it said "Something went wrong, they say." The poem is split up into three large stanzas.
Theme
The themes of this poem are abandonment and failure. These two themes are very strong in this poem. Failure is because the farmer was not much of a successful farmer and he failed his family to provide the things they need to be happy. Abandonment is because the wife and child abandoned the husband which causes the entire family to abandon the barn. Abandoning the farm house is what the entire poem is about.
Collage
Background
The abandoned farmhouse was written in this era in May of 2005 by Ted Kooser. There is a lot of diction all throughout the poem displaying amazing images in your head. It is almost as if you were there at the farmhouse.
Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser is a world famous American poet with hundreds of outstanding poems. He was the Poet Laureate Consultant in the Poetry to the Library of congress for two consecutive terms from 2004 to 2006. He was born Ames, Iowa in 1939 and attended Iowa State University. Kooser is the author of twelve collections of poetry. Some of his most famous works are A Birthday Poem, After Years, and Flying at Night.
Song
Big Green Tractor
The Abandoned Farmhouse
The abandoned farmhouse is a tragic poem about a wife leaving a husband with their child. They lived a happy life together, but not a fancy one. The family lived in a small farmhouse in a rural area, and the husband was not a very good farmer judging by the condition of his fields. They lived on hardly any money, and had a simple life until they had a fight and the wife stormed off with the child judging off of the condition the house was left in. Ted Kooser paints a picture of the scene in the readers' head by his outstanding word choice and sentence and stanza structure.
The End
Thanks for
listening
Full transcript