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.