Robert Frost - Ideas


It has been said many times that all men have a common bond, or a
thread that joins them together. Robert Frost?s 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 refered 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 added to by 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. Many motifs are contained in
the poem. We are one in spirit, as well as being united by our work. We
all can appreciate beauty. Most of us share a respect for life, even if
it?s only for flowers we might choose to spare.

After reading ?The Tuft of Flowers,? one is left with a few ideas to
chew on. The combination of thought and imagery makes for worthwhile
reading. So if you?re just looking for something interesting to read in
a spare few minutes of your time, or if you want something to make you
think, you should take a look at this poem. It will leave you with a
sense of thoughtfulness and may give you insight you didn?t have
before.