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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem The Cow In Apple-Time


  1. andrew says:

    does anyone have an analysis on the enjambment that frost uses on lines 1, 4-5?

  2. It’s said that Frost was referring to his children by using the cow. How they could go wayward sometimes and instead of reprimanding them, he’d let them learn from their mistakes. Face the consequences

  3. chayis says:

    does anyone know what the meter of the is poem is?

  4. Scott King says:

    While it may describe a real cow and real apples, I think Mr. Frost phrased it in a way that it serves as an allegory of that wayward person who, in his rebellion and pursuit of pleasure, has ceased to fulfill his purpose and productivity in life (as the cow ceased to give milk). The words “shrivels” and “dry” in the last line describe the pathetic state of that person who has gone “out of bounds” to serve Self.

  5. Aryan says:

    What appeases us isnt always good for us, as is the case with alcahol and smoking

  6. Laura says:

    I think the cow is a metaphor for a person who does not ant to seclude themselves which is the complete opposite to the farmer in his poem ‘Mending Wall’. I get this idea because of the quote ‘to make no more of a wall than an open gate’ and ‘think no more of wall builders than fools’.

  7. charl says:

    i belive this is a persona of a person who is going through the ageing process and is in a protest against death ‘She bellows on a knoll against they sky’ and also implying with ‘her udder shrivels and the milk goes dry’ that as we become old we cannot nourish ourselves or another human life.

  8. Rebecca says:

    The cow should have stayed in the field. It can’t survive on apples.

  9. Larry says:

    II think this poem goes way beyond the obvious and is just not all about a cow wondering off for some sweet apples! It’ s about the her falling to sweet temptation, over indulgences, A feeling of importance, a high that makes her forget about her mundane existence, No matter what the consequences, she will always go back to them during apple to time, and she pays the price, like that of a drug addict or alcoholic ,

    Any thoughts ??

  10. siobhan says:

    the poem begins with the theme of simplicity: “to make no more of a wall than an open gate”. The cow (obviously) lacks an analytical point of view that we, as humans, have developed the need to pursue the ‘why’ in virtually situation that rpesents itself.there is almost an expression of envy from frost, a jealousy that the cow is able to view things in such a simple manner. The poem then moves into how lush the cow is. the cow eats the windfallen apples as if there will be no tomorrow. As many things in life, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. The withering of the fall season mimics the (now) withering udders of the cow. frost uses the cow/farm situation as a metaphor for a deeper meaning.

  11. ryan says:

    i see the poem as having almost an adam and eve type theme… I also dont see it as a warning but an analysis on the human trait of always wanting more than what you have

  12. Taisha Turner says:

    It is best to stay with the tried and true. The cow learns the hard way.

    • Degy says:

      The last cow on the farm wanted freedom from imprisonment and the taste of sweet apples instead of withering grass before her death.

  13. cody says:

    this poem is all about a cow that wonders off past the fence to an apple tree. if cows eat to many apples their milk goes sour and they become sick. this has to do with the sugar of the apple. the poem is based on a true life experience Frost had with one of his cows that wondered away and got sick from eating apples from an apple tree… no the cow does not die and no it is not drunk

  14. Stefven says:

    I don’t gather a warning in this at all, but more an incentive to reap the benefits of exploration. Granted, the cow does seem to experience a reason to bellow, but she has also gained an exposure many will continually lack: The knowledge of “What If…”

  15. Michael Valera says:

    I like the poem because it is funny but has good meaning…think twice or more before you do something/decide

  16. Luis Ricardo Medeiros says:

    I like this poem a lot, l have to memorize it for my school

  17. Bob says:

    i was told by my teacher that the cow is drunk

  18. Fred says:

    Cows are like totally cool
    I like apples

  19. Audra says:

    I did more research about this poem and here is what it is about. This cow is looking for something to eat so there is 2 things dry grass which it always eats or a juicy red apple. The cow chooses the apple and it becomes sick and its utters shrivle up and it becomes sick. The figurative meaning of this poem would be: Think befor you do things and befor you take ricks make sure that they are for the best.

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