Study Guide

Some Trees Life, Consciousness, and Existence

By John Ashbery

Life, Consciousness, and Existence

[…] you and I
Are suddenly what the trees try

To tell us we are: (7-9)

Suddenly those trees and their green leaves don't look so different from us. Connections are everywhere. Sometimes all you have to do is pay attention and let your imagination take it from there.

And glad not to have invented
Such comeliness, we are surrounded: (13-14)

We're always surrounded, even when we're all by ourselves. Existence is full of stuff. We can make it look as pretty and artificial as we want, but all of those perfectly sculpted Tim Burton bushes won't answer any of our questions.

A chorus of smiles, a winter morning.
Placed in a puzzling light, and moving, (17-18)

It's puzzling and it's always moving. Nothing is ever standing still forever. In fact, many physicists would argue that nothing ever stands still period. So go ahead and solve life's mysteries, but know that there's a good chance they won't stay put.

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