"Instructions on Not Giving Up" begins with a description of the blooms of early spring as the speaker describes the vivid pink blossoms of a "crabapple tree." Next, the speaker calls readers' attention to a "neighbor's" cherry blossom tree: the soft white and pale pink flowers are "cotton candy-colored," and they stand out strikingly, almost "obscene[ly]," against the dark gray of a sky threatening rain.
The anaphora of "More than" tells readers that the speaker is going to be comparing these blossoms to something, but it's not yet clear what. Instead, the poem begins with a long, meandering sentence that delays its main subject and verb, building anticipation:
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
For now, this opening imagery is almost violent in its intensity. The crabapple blossoms are "breaking out / of" the tree, as though escaping from its grip. The speaker also personifies the cherry tree by describing its branches as aggressively "shoving / their" blossoms into the sky, as though forcing it to look upon the flowers' beauty. The phrase "almost obscene display" suggests that the speaker finds the beauty of all these blossom-laden boughs a little over-the-top. And the alliteration of "fuchsia funnels" and "cotton candy-colored" also makes the poem itself sound more emphatic, evoking the vivid, showy colors of these blooms.
Altogether, these images convey the suddenness with which spring blossoms can arrive and suggest that this speaker isn't particularly inspired by the abundant beauty spring has to offer. Just think about what "cotton candy" actually tastes like: it's known for being almost unbearably sweet (it's made of pure sugar, after all), and it also dissolves as soon as you take a bite.
Notice, too, the juxtaposition between those weightless, pastel "cotton candy-colored blossoms" and the "slate / sky of Spring rains." The sky is gloomy and heavy, threatening rain that could easily wash those delicate blossoms away. The sibilance here ("slate," "sky," "Spring") adds a sinister hiss, suggesting the precarious position those blossoms are in.
These opening lines give readers a sense of the poem's form: there's no regular meter or rhyme scheme here, the poet instead opting for natural-sounding free verse. These lines (and, indeed, nearly the entire poem) are also all enjambed:
[...] breaking out
of the [...] the neighbor’s
almost obscene [...] limbs shoving
their cotton [...] the slate
sky of Spring rains, [...]
As a result, the poem unfurls down the page swiftly, pulling the reader along with it. This enjambment builds yet more anticipation (readers still don't know what the speaker will compare these blossoms to), and it also suggests the suddenness with which spring appears.