REELY'S
AUDIO POEMS

Reely's Shop: Shakespeare · Bronte Sisters · Dostoevsky · Charles Dickens · Characters/Quotes · Top Picks >>>

Robert Frost
Contemporaries
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Robert William Service
Sara Teasdale

THE TUFT OF FLOWERS
by Robert Frost

Read by Becky for Librivox.org

Download mp3 here

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 leveled 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.

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.'

Home
Poem Index
Poets Wall
Audio Poems
Cool Stuff
Reely's Blog

Robert Frost
MORE FROST POEMS

Frost's use of nature is the single most misunderstood element of his poetry. Frost said over and over, "I am not a nature poet. There is almost always a person in my poems."

"Spring Pools" and "A Winter Eden" are two rare exceptions to this rule, although both poems embody the idea of perfection - the spring pools "almost without defect" and the snow scene described as "paradise."  Nature does not idealize - that is the work of man, so perhaps there is a person there after all.

continued at www.frostfriends.org

Men · Women · American · Australian · Canadian · English · French · German · Hispanic · Irish · Russian · Scottish
Butterfly on Orange and Yellow Flowers Poster
Butterfly on Orange and Yellow Flowers
Poster
by TheresasPhotography

Tuft of Flowers

Do you like this poem?

It's great
It's good
It's okay
No
I don't know

William Butler YeatsAlfred Lord TennysonStevie SmithRobert Louis StevensonEmily DickinsonLangston HughesWilliam BlakeEmile NelliganPercy Bysshe Shelley

VJ Web Designs

Email: webmaster@reelyredd.com