Treasure Island

Robert Frost

(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

The Cow In Apple-Time


Something inspires the only cow of late
To make no more of a wall than an open gate,
And think no more of wall-builders than fools.
Her face is flecked with pomace and she drools
A cider syrup. Having tasted fruit,
She scorns a pasture withering to the root.
She runs from tree to tree where lie and sweeten.
The windfalls spiked with stubble and worm-eaten.
She leaves them bitten when she has to fly.
She bellows on a knoll against the sky.
Her udder shrivels and the milk goes dry.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Walterrean Salley (4/29/2012 1:51:00 AM)

    Frost's observation of the lone cow unveils a day in the life of a drunken cow. Whatever the moral, he found it interesting. And we get to see what a drunk cow is like. (Report) Reply

  • Andrew Hoellering (7/21/2009 2:02:00 PM)

    I'll give it another go!
    Frost is delighted by the cow's unpredictable behaviour -see his choice of the word 'inspires' in the first line.
    The animal is clearly behaving like a drunken fool, and part of Frost's delight is that such behaviour is not confined to humans.
    The sonnet is a celebration of the eccentric and unpredictable, whatever form it may take. (Report) Reply

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