Study Guide

The Tuft of Flowers Isolation

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There's nothing like a totally empty field to give you a serious case of the lonelys. At the start of "The Tuft of Flowers," the speaker is suffering from this condition in a bad way. He's convinced, at one point, that we're all doomed to isolation—even if we're standing right next to one another. Don't worry about him too much, though. His dark reflections are really just a way to introduce a problem that—spoiler alert—gets solved by the poem's end. Are we really all alone in the universe? The speaker answers that question two ways in this poem. At the beginning, he's firmly in the "yes" camp.

Questions About Isolation

  1. Why is the speaker's attitude toward being alone? How can you tell?
  2. What do you think some of the "questions that have no reply" might be?
  3. What, if any, might be the benefits to being alone? How might the speaker answer that question?

Chew on This

The poem's case for our being all alone in the world is actually more convincing than its case for our being connected.

The poem shows us that being alone is more a state of mind than an actual truth.

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