Study Guide

The Tuft of Flowers Man and the Natural World

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Man and the Natural World

It may shock you to learn that "The Tuft of Flowers" is not set in some downtown florist's shop. The best tufts, everyone knows, are out there in Mother Nature's store. Even better—she doesn't charge. The downside of the natural world, though, is the overwhelming dread of realizing that we're all utterly alone. At first, this thought has the speaker understandably down. And yet, the natural world—more precisely, the mower's decision to preserve a little piece of the natural world—totally flips the script. Just as nature takes away, it also restores the speaker's faith in his connection to others.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. What details of the natural setting contribute to the speaker's sense of isolation?
  2. What details of the natural setting emphasize the speaker's connection to others?
  3. How might this poem be different if it were set in a bustling city?

Chew on This

The poem shows us that, even in nature, it's impossible to truly be isolated from other people.

Not so fast—the poem's depiction of nature shows us that we can never truly be connected to anyone, or anything, in any meaningful way…sniff.

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