How does the voice of the poem suggest the passing of time in "The Flower-fed Buffaloes" by Vachel Lindsay?FLOWER FED BUFFALOES by Vachel Lindsay The flower-fed buffaloes of the springIn the days...

How does the voice of the poem suggest the passing of time in "The Flower-fed Buffaloes" by Vachel Lindsay?

FLOWER FED BUFFALOES by Vachel Lindsay

The flower-fed buffaloes of the spring
In the days of long ago,
Ranged where the locomotives sing
And the prarie flowers lie low:
The tossing, blooming, perfumed grass
Is swept away by wheat,
Wheels and wheels and wheels spin by
In the spring that still is sweet.
But the flower-fed buffaloes of the spring
Left us long ago,
They gore no more, they bellow no more:--
With the Blackfeet lying low,
With the Pawnee lying low.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This is one of my favorite poems. There is certainly a melancholy mood established as the writer reminisces about the decline and virtual disappearance of the buffalo. Lindsay uses the word "spring" to signify the buffalo in their prime, ranging far and wide freely without restraint. Those times were "sweet" for the buffalo before the arrival of the white man, who transformed the wide, open ranges to wheat fields; and the appearance of the railroad, whose workers feasted on buffalo meat as the tracks extended westward. Lindsay also repeats the words "long ago" several times, suggesting both a passage of time and a wishful remembrance of better days. "Lying low" suggests the interment of both the buffalo and the Pawnee, both residing in graves on the land they once shared.

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