Study Guide

Some Trees Man and the Natural World

By John Ashbery

Man and the Natural World

These are amazing: each
Joining a neighbor, as though speech
Were a still performance. (1-3)

He just can't resist making those connections between nature and people. And of course the first thing a person would think about when checking out some trees would be their connection to speech. Maybe the speaker just saw The Lord of the Rings.

That their merely being there
Means something; (10-11)

No need to look for a hand descending from the clouds to tell us what it's all about. Nature's there and that alone should be consolation enough. If nature weren't there, then we'd be in some trouble. That's food for thought the next time we see some awful footage of polar bears losing their homes.

A chorus of smiles, a winter morning. (17)

It's all connected: every smile, morning, tree, and fuzzy polar bear. Even sounds and images have a connection of some sort.

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