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A Tuft of Flowers

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Robert Frost

on 16 April 2014

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Transcript of A Tuft of Flowers

1. What is the genre, or form, of the poem?
4. What is the structure of the poem?
2. Who is speaking in the poem?
A Tuft of Flowers
Robert Frost
A Tuft of Flowers
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
The Storm
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
A Tuft of Flowers
3. What is the argument, thesis, or subject of the poem?
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
5. How does the poem make use of setting?
The Storm
6. How does the poem use imagery?
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
7. Are there key statements or conflicts in the poem that appear to be central to its meaning?
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
8. How does the sound of the poetry contribute to its meaning?
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
9. Examine the use of language.
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
10. Can you see any ways in which the poem refers to, uses or relies on previous writing?
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
11. What qualities does the poem evoke in the reader?
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
12. What is your historical and cultural distance from the poem?
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
13. What is the world-view and the ideology of the poem?
A Tuft of Flowers
The Storm
Lyrical narrative
"Masculine" rhyme scheme (Rhyming of stressed ending syllables)
Rhyming couplets, adds charm, and the tone a fable
A worker "turning the grass" (used to be done after scythe mowing)
A lover, speaking to his significant other. This is meant to be heard by someone else, as if the lyrics are a letter of one side of a phone conversation.
There is a shared beauty in nature.
No man is truly alone, because we share common appreciation for beauty and life
The speaker is on tour but feels anchored by a romantic bond
Having someone in our life can give us real happiness
Formal thematic structure using rhymed couplets, follows actions of the speaker
Masculine rhyme scheme makes it more archaic
The mown grass and "destruction" of the morning beauty provides the necessary conflict for the poem, and the butterfly, farther out workers and the work itself are necessary to the speakers' revelations.
Not really a specific setting
"'Men work together,' I told him from the heart, 'whether they work together or apart."
This main message is that no one is ever truly alone, that all humans share a bond through nature and the beauty of life
"The truth is to me that I was caught in the storm, that I wasn't alone"
Here, the speaker states that a single person can be a safe haven for someone else, and that true comfort can be found from a loved one.
Archaic words such as "a 'wildered" and "o'er" contribute to a timeless feeling
Iambic pentameter adds suspense to the story/plot, and also contributes to that same fable-like tone. This makes the theme something all-encompassing, and indeed, timeless.
Multiple Choice
1. In line 25 of "A Tuft of Flowers", who/what is "them" referring to?
A. The other workers
B. The speaker's family
C. Butterflies
D. The flowers
Multiple Choice Answer

"The Storm"
The Airborne Toxic Event
Before it took you away
I tried to think of something I could say
I watched the shadows in the hall
How they danced with the light and the white on the walls

Your face in these pictures looks like a poem
Your eyes lit up like a river stone
Your body so much like a blanket thrown
On a warm bed at night, like a house in a storm

Then you walk right through the doorway
You tell me you're here to stay
The worst is gone and by God I love
If you'd been here this way

I surprise myself sometimes
The way the days unfold and this road unwinds
You tell me you see it too
And the miles seem like inches when I think of you

Its been 25 day since I've been gone
25 weeks since I've seen my home
I spent 25 months chasing this song
and all of this time I've been alone


1. In line 25 of "A Tuft of Flowers", who/what is "them" referring to?
D. The flowers
- "leaving them to flourish"refers to leaving the flowers to live and not cutting them
The workers have not been discussed in the preceding sentence, the speaker's family is not referred to at all here, and the butterflies were not the thing that was "left to flourish"
Multiple Choice
2. What is the overall tone of "The Storm"?
A. Didactic
B. Sardonic
C. Bitter
D. Thankful
Multiple Choice Answer
2. What is the overall tone of "The Storm"?
D. Thankful
- The speaker is thankful that he found a significant other: "and the miles feel like inches when I think of you", "the worst is gone"
The song isn't commanding/didactic; At no point does it feel disdainful or mocking (sardonic), and it is not bitter but rather thankful.
Multiple Choice
3. What lines best mark a shift in the speaker's attitude within "A Tuft of Flowers"?
A. Lines 5-10
B. Lines 10-16
C. Lines 15-23
D. Lines 30-35

Multiple Choice Answer
3. What lines best mark a shift in the speaker's attitude within "A Tuft of Flowers"?
Answer: D
Essay Prompt
Read both the poem and song carefully. Then, compare and contrast how each uses literary devices such as imagery, structure, and diction to show how a connection with another person can erase loneliness.
Example Thesis
Although both the poem and song use vivid imagery and a rhyming structure to show a connection and freedom from loneliness, Frost's "A Tuft of Flowers" focuses on an indirect unromantic kinship through predictable structure while "The Storm" focuses on a romantic relationship and utilizes a freer structure.
Then you walk right through the doorway
You tell me your here to stay
The worst is gone and by God I love
If you'd been here this way

And you knew it all along
I wasn't happy all along
and your body all I wanted
let me to just come home

Then you walk right through the doorway
You tell me you're here to stay
The worst is gone and by God I love
If you'd been here this way

And I only just learned how to stand like a man
I've got 25 years of running instead
How could I see the ground at my feet
The truth is to me that I was caught in the storm

That I wasn't alone

Verses with a chorus
Rhyme scheme is free and changes throughout
Vague idea of "home" - "walked right through the doorway", "shadows in the hall"
Common vernacular contributes to the poem's warm upbeat message, and also supports the idea that the speaker is talking to someone he is close too.
Peacefulness
Happiness
Relief and well-being
Thoughtfulness
Realization of interwoven human connections
The speaker and the mower he feels a connection with are doing tasks that have been replaced with modern methods
Easy to relate to, the author is a contemporary musician from Los Angeles
We are all human and experience similar emotions
Small actions can make a large impact
Finding a significant other in your life is very important to feel a sense of home and to ward off loneliness
The speaker identifies himself as alone from the start, and while his revelations come from the physical world around him, the poem is introspective.
Imagery is mainly used to describe the physical setting of the poem
Personification of the scythe, butterfly, and of the flowers add to the archaic, fable-like tone of the poem
Though the poem does not mention it, this poem is tied into the poem "Mowing" by Robert Frost, which appears a few poems ahead of "A Tuft of Flowers" in Robert Frost's early book,
A Boy's Will
There are no works alluded too in this song.
Indie rock
Acoustic
Similes such as "eyes lit up like a river stone"
"I watched the shadows in the hall/how they danced with the light and the white on the walls"
The positive, and somewhat archaic language such as "marked" contributes to the poem's positive and uplifting theme.
In contrast, the sparing harsher words, such as "withering" hint at the debilitating effects of life and loneliness if not for love.
The conversational, intimate style of the language emphasizes the song's importance on one person's ability dispel loneliness.
-The speaker's realizes that he shares a common bond with the other workers, and it is emphasized by his new found ability to hear the other worker (scythe) and the wonder of nature around him (birds chirping)
Lines 5-10 introduce the speaker's loneliness, lines 10-16 actually support the idea of loneliness and sadness because the butterfly has lost its flower friend to the grass-guillotine, and lines 17-23 mark the primary action of the poem, but mention nothing of a change in the speaker's attitude.
Full transcript