Abandonment and Struggle on a Farm Essay

Abandonment and Struggle on a Farm Essay

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Simplicity, especially in poetry, can be an often underrated and overlooked method of conveying a meaningful and extended message. Ted Kooser, an American poet and writer, is well known for his ‘simplistic’ style of writing and has been described as using an “[H]onest, accessible verse…” (Ted Kooser: The Poetry Foundation). Kooser was born in Iowa and now resides in Nebraska. Both Iowa and Nebraska are situated in the Midwestern United States, an area noted for its rural landscape and population. Kooser’s rural background and ‘accessible verse’ are exceedingly evident in his poem “Abandoned Farmhouse”. The poem is as an observation of an abandoned farmhouse, it infers details about the house and the family that lived in it through inanimate objects as well as the condition of the house and surrounding farmland. Using figurative language devices such as simile, metaphor, and personification Kooser allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. As well, Kooser allows the reader to fill in the gaps in his writing, however, he creates themes in this poem that are hard to ignore and thus they must be acknowledged. Themes of abandonment and a struggling family are prevalent in “Abandoned Farmhouse” and they help lend to the broader thematic purpose of the poem which looks to provide an insight on rural life, particularly the realities and hardships of living on a farm. Using the figurative tools mentioned previously, Kooser creates an image of an empty and neglected farmhouse and uses it as a symbolic representation for the hardships experienced in farming and the strain it can put on a family.
In the 1980s, many farmers in the Midwest were running out of business rapidly and found that they could not stay in the agriculture indust...

... middle of paper ...

...ation the narrator in “Abandoned Farmhouse” is able to tell the story of a struggling family on a farm while presenting the idea of abandonment, of the farm and of the family. The inferences made on characteristics of the farm and inanimate objects scattered throughout it allow the narrator to conclude that something went wrong on the farm and with the family. The poem, and the observations made throughout it, is a representation of the difficulties faced in rural life and the strain that it can put on a family. The unfortunate ending suggested in the poem symbolizes the struggles that a farm can present and provides an insight into the realities of farm life.

Works Cited
Crisis in Agriculture. n.d. Website. 2 April 2012.
Kooser, Ted. "Abandoned Farmhouse." ENG 105B: Poems for Essay #2. 2012.
Ted Kooser: The Poetry Foundation. 2010. Website. 2 April 2012.

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