Winter Will Be Here Soon -- Study hard as finals approach...


 
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The Tuft Of Flowers

 

by Robert Frost
 
It has been said many times that all men have a common
bond, or a thread that joins them together. Robert Frost¹s
poem "The Tuft of Flowers" explores the existence of such a
bond, as experienced by the speaker. In the everyday
circumstance of performing a common chore, the speaker
discovers a sense of brotherhood with another laborer.
Frost contrasts a sense of aloneness with a sense of
understanding to convey his theme of unity between men. 

To understand the setting of the poem, one must first
understand how grass was mowed in the time period in which
the poem was written (1906). Grass was mostly mowed by hand
using a scythe. The mowing was often done in the dew of the
morning for better mowing. This left the grass wet, and it
needed to be scattered for drying. The phrase turning the
grass referred to the scattering of the grass for drying.
In "The Tuft of Flowers", the speaker has gone out to turn
the grass. Whoever did the mowing is already gone, for
there are no signs of his presence. The speaker is alone.
Then, a butterfly catches the speaker's attention, and
leads his gaze to a tuft of flowers, which the mower chose
to leave intact. The patch of beauty left by his fellow
worker causes the speaker to feel that he is no longer
alone. There is a sense of understanding between the
speaker and the mower, because an appreciation of beauty
unites them. 

Frost uses peaceful images to relate the feeling of his
poem. The setting is in a grassy field with a brook running
through it. The tranquil feeling is supported by the
presence of a silent butterfly, who searches for a flower
upon which to land. In keeping with the peaceful
surroundings, Frost speaks of a long scythe "whispering to
the ground," and of hearing "wakening birds around". The
speaker also listens for a whetstone "on the breeze" to
determine if there is anyone around, and finds a "leaping
tongue of bloom" beside the "reedy brook". 

"The Tuft of Flowers" does not contain a definite meter,
but it does have a strict rhyme scheme of AA, BB. The poem
is organized in couplets, each of which contains a single
thought. This makes the poem more charming and gives it
simplicity, which adds to the overall feeling of peace and
tranquility. 

Robert Frost provides many interesting ideas in "The Tuft
of Flowers". Perhaps the most striking feature of Frost's
poem is his use of a paradox to illustrate the purpose or
central theme of the poem. "Men work together", the speaker
says, "whether they work together or apart". The meaning
is that we are never alone, even if there is no one
physically present with us at the time. 
 

 




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