The Tuft of Flowers
by robert frost
I went to turn the grass once after one Who mowed it in the dew before the sun. The dew was gone that made his blade so keen Before I came to view the levelled scene. I looked for him behind an isle of trees; I listened for his whetstone on the breeze. But he had gone his way, the grass all mown, And I must be, as he had been,—alone, ‘As all must be,’ I said within my heart, ‘Whether they work together or apart.’ But as I said it, swift there passed me by On noiseless wing a ‘wildered butterfly, Seeking with memories grown dim o’er night Some resting flower of yesterday’s delight. And once I marked his flight go round and round, As where some flower lay withering on the ground. And then he flew as far as eye could see, And then on tremulous wing came back to me. I thought of questions that have no reply, And would have turned to toss the grass to dry; But he turned first, and led my eye to look At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook, A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared. I left my place to know them by their name, Finding them butterfly weed when I came. The mower in the dew had loved them thus, By leaving them to flourish, not for us, Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him. But from sheer morning gladness at the brim. The butterfly and I had lit upon, Nevertheless, a message from the dawn, That made me hear the wakening birds around, And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground, And feel a spirit kindred to my own; So that henceforth I worked no more alone; But glad with him, I worked as with his aid, And weary, sought at noon with him the shade; And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach. ‘Men work together,’ I told him from the heart, ‘Whether they work together or apart.’ VOCABULARY Tuft- a small group. Used for flowers, hair. turn the grass- turn over, rearrange grass drying in the sun mow- to cut. We cut our hair, we mow the grass. dew- water on the ground in the early morning whetstone- used to sharpen knives and other blades, scythe scythe- a large knife used to cut grass and crops like wheat a kindered spirit- the same kind of person, a person like me Paraphrase I was out working in the field, I thought alone. Others had come before me to cut the grass which I would rake I looked and listened to be sure was anybody still hear still cutting or lingering near No I was here alone. He must have been alone too when I came here to work and I was still at home. 'Alone,' I said to myself, 'We always are alone. Whether we work together or separately." But then I saw a butterfly Flying past me, looking around Looking for some flowers that must have been cut down The butterfly found the flowers beautiful The man before must have seen their beauty too And left them there uncut I felt the same and was glad to see the flowers remain I knew then that man was like me We could both see the flowers beauty I knew he couldn't hear me, But still I said to him. 'We work together' in our hearts 'whether we are alone or apart.' Commentary Sometimes we feel so alone. We may even be alone in the physical sense. I may be in my house typing on my computer. No friends or family with me. Just a laptop and a sore butt. Then I check my post and see a like, and I know I am not writing in the air. I go on Instagram and see so many special sights. People who see beauty in the world and take a picture for me to see. And like. In that moment I realize I am not truly alone. There are people in the world who see what I see. Who like what I like. We may not be sitting together at the same table, but we are the same in spirit.