Monday, November 28, 2005

The Cabbage by Ruth Stone

You have rented an apartment.
You come to this enclosure with physical relief,
your heavy body climbing the stairs in the dark,
the hall bulb burned out, the landlord
of Greek extraction and possibly a fatalist.
In the apartment leaning against one wall,
your daughter's painting of a large frilled cabbage
against a dark sky with pinpoints of stars.
The eager vegetable, opening itself
as if to eat the air, or speak in cabbage
language of the meanings within meanings;
while the points of stars hide their massive
violence in the dark upper half of the painting.
You can live with this.


I found this poem online as well and found it to be rather intriguing. The title itself seems to be a different aspect of the entire poem. The whole poem involves itself around this painting which the speaker's daughter painted of a "large frilled cabbage," and the incident of renting a new apartment and living life now can be reflected on the analysis of this painting. The painting of the cabbage is significant throughout the poem because it represents the chaos that is now in the speakers life. the "eager vegetable, opening itself" seems to be also related to the new beginning that the speaker is enduring with this new apartment and life that he/she is about to start. Throughout the poem, the speaker uses "you" as if this poem is talking to someone else, possibly someone that they know and they are just observing as a friend. In the second line of the poem, when the speaker says "y0u have come to this enclosure with physical relief," it seems as if the renting of this apartment has been something that the person has been struggling with for awhile and that this act could be the beginning of something good. The tone of gratification and satisfaction can be found in the last line, when the speaker says "you can live with this," because then it sounds as if there is a sense of peace and composure to the whole situation.

2 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

When I read the poem, I thought the speaker was talking to the audience in order to pull them into the poem. I also thought the connection you bring up, between the painting and the moving situation is interesting.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Danny said...

I thought it was worth nothing that this poem gives me a distinct image of a single mother working hard to provide a meager living for her daughter. I think that the focus on the cabbage represents the speaker's devotion to her daughter, since it is her daughter's painting.

9:51 PM  

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