I’m going out to clean the pasture spring;
I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I shan’t be gone long. — You come too.
I’m going out to fetch the little calf
That’s standing by the mother. It’s so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I shan’t be gone long. — You come too.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

24 Comments

  1. vanessa says:

    I love the way that Robert speaks, he is so romantic and really take,s you to the place where he is in the poem,is one of my favorite writers and every single poem from him is just great !!!

  2. Layla says:

    I have a few question about “Willow and Ginkgo”
    By Eve Merriam

    List two lines from the poem that are to be read literally:
    1.
    2.

    List two lines from the poem that contain vivid figurative language and explain your choices:
    1.
    Explanation:
    2.
    Explanation:

    Add two of your own lines of figurative language to the poem followed by two lines to be read literally:

    Figurative Line:
    Literal Line:
    Figurative Line
    Literal Line:

  3. Jessie says:

    Robert Frost has very touching and very disturbing poems which intell many past stories about himself!

  4. Spenser says:

    I see a love poem in these few stark sentences. The setting is gentle as are the words. An invitation that pulls you along. It is indirect. A simple country life, reflected in the rhythms of nature, the slow passage of time. The company of one’s love, possibly a friend. You come too! The great gift of someone’s presence! I can feel the fall air, a slight chill, the light starting to fade. A sidelong glance at your face, the way the light hits it, reassuring myself of your being at my side. And, the life. Simple chores, simple pleasures, simple love.
    Spencer of Ballston Lake, NY.

  5. juniper says:

    i wish robert frost didnt write such complicated poems for me to model in class. i dont even like this one and it makes no sense!!

  6. Mike says:

    My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
    Toward heaven still,
    And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
    Beside it, and there may be two or three
    Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
    But I am done with apple-picking now.
    Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
    The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
    I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
    I got from looking through a pane of glass
    I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
    And held against the world of hoary grass.
    It melted, and I let it fall and break.
    But I was well
    Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
    And I could tell
    What form my dreaming was about to take.
    Magnified apples appear and disappear,
    Stem end and blossom end,
    And every fleck of russet showing clear.
    My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
    It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
    I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.

    And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
    The rumbling sound
    Of load on load of apples coming in.
    For I have had too much
    Of apple-picking: I am overtired
    Of the great harvest I myself desired.
    There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
    Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
    For all
    That struck the earth,
    No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
    Went surely to the cider-apple heap
    As of no worth.
    One can see what will trouble
    This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
    Were he not gone,
    The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
    Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
    Or just some human sleep.

  7. AWAL says:

    it tooks me a while before i could fetch the point out of frost robert poem,[the pasture]..i believe the poet in the first stanza,was trying to shade light on how nature should be appreciated.on a bright beautiful day commitment and dedication should be an objective.”i ll only stop to rake the leaves away.”.
    the second stanza based on how beautiful life could be for an infant[totters]and the fullest joy of the the mother having her baby..’i shan’t be gone long-you come too’the poet is also offering an invitation for the readers to appeciate life and its nature.

  8. tyler says:

    Although this poem is rather short, The Pasture can be a tricky poem to understand. Frost feels this way about his writing because of how he is connected to nature. It shows how a life on a pasture works. He is trying to explain in this poem that life is no rush. He wants to express that someone’s life can be great if you take life slow. This poem also expresses the connection between animals and humans. It shows great detail of a cow’s life out on a field with its family being very happy. In this poem, the character watches how the cows take their life’s very slowly and peacefully. It shows that the character should do the same thing too.

  9. tyler says:

    Although this poem is rather short, The Pasture can be a tricky poem to understand. Frost feels this way about his writing because of how he is connected to nature. It shows how a life on a pasture works. He is trying to explain in this poem that life is no rush. He wants to express that someone’s life can be great if you take life slow. This poem also expresses the connection between animals and humans. It shows great detail of a cow’s life out on a field with its family being very happy. In this poem, the character watches how the cows take their life’s very slowly and peacefully. It shows that the character should do the same thing too.

  10. tyler says:

    i think this poem is great, i am supposed to do this poem as an analysation for english, it is pretty cool..

  11. freddie says:

    i really like this poem because it givs you a feelling about animals and their personalities.

  12. Georgia says:

    i really like this poem because it kida talks about animals and i love and. and i also grew up ona ranck.

  13. catur wahyudi says:

    this poem is typically robert frost. in my mother tounge it is called ROBERT FROST BANGET….
    talking about anything related to nature, frost is trying to get his readers involved in the sequence of the poem. in fact, The Pasture doesn’t rally want to ask us (the reader) to come. He only said “you come too”

    deedee

  14. Derek says:

    I am supposed to analyze a poem for my english class and I was given this poem to think upon and express my views on it. Well, this is a pretty complicated poem that I think can symbolize many things. It could be that Robert Frost is a man who enjoys the company of nature and really sits back and takes a glimpse at its beauty. Then, he invites us to take the journey with him, hoping that we will understand his views and fulfillment of nature. Also, maybe the leaves and the water clearing may be a sign of hope or something. They could signify a new beginning in a time of renewal. Well, I present this poem today and I am just going to tell my teacher and my fellow students exactly what I get out of this wonderful poem. After all, maybe this poem gives a different message to everyone.

  15. Sarah says:

    In my English class im supposed to find a poem and memorize it so I looked at robert Frost because we memorized “The Pasture” before so I saw it and it was just kinda cool to see it there.

  16. Alix says:

    The Pasture Is a cool poem i like the way He explained the pasture and what he did. It is so awsome
    You should spend your time Ready Robert Frosts poems if you are interested in nature.

  17. Gabriel says:

    This is a tricky poem, but I think if you read a lot of Frost as well as read the few interviews or memoirs he’s ever publicly let out, this poem stands out as the best and most succinct poem about how Robert Frost feels about his own poetry. The latest anthology picked this one to preface the entire edition for a reason, after all. This is a poem about how Robert Frost feels about his readers. I think the most important part of this poem is not actually the lines about the calf but the parts where he says “–You come too.” Though it might seem like it, he’s not actually happily inviting the guest (or reader) along with him, in fact he’d probably rather be alone. Read into most of his work and you’ll see he enjoys things like raking leaves and babbling water on his own; he rarely if ever has human company. Other people are like ghosts in his work… like the phantom mowing the lawn in The Tufts of Flowers, or the shelled husk of a neighbor he presents to us in The Mending Wall.

    He isn’t saying “Please, I’d like your company.” He’s just saying as an afterthought “– You come too.” Deep down he really just wants to experience the beauty of the new spring in the pasture on his own, but he feels compelled to give his guest a glimpse into it for whatever reason, be it politeness, a desperate hope for shared experience, or whatever it may be.

    Frost feels this way about his writing. He’s commented about how he never really took to being the “poet laureate” of the entire country because he’s always written for just for himself. If you read his work closely you can see that desire to be alone, the feeling that he doesn’t think he is well-understood by others and that he isn’t sure if he cares or not. The same feeling is expressed when he lists all the beautiful things he wants to do and then half-heartedly invites us to go with him. He wants us to see what he sees, but he’s just not so sure we’ll understand. I think the complexity there is gorgeous, and is a true glimpse into a beautiful and profoundly interesting soul.

  18. Crystal says:

    I loved it a whole lot. It was wonderful.

  19. Mike says:

    Knowing a little bit about RF I suspect this poem was written after the death of one of his children (perhaps the one that died in childbirth – I forget the name).

    Reading though it line by line, the following words and phrases leap out:

    – pasture: did RF now think he was too old to be useful? Did he blame himself in some way for what had happpened?
    – spring: new life and renewal, yet…
    – rake the leaves away: the spring is clogged with old leaves which he means to rake away. He’s trying to clear up the mess and move beyond it.
    – watch the water clear: he’s looking for an end to confusion.
    – it’s so young: really this is rather heartfelt perhaps the saddest line in the poem. Interpretation isn’t hard.
    – it totters when she licks it: a complex picture, suggesting that a mothers’ love can sometimes be overpowering.
    – I sha’n’t be gone long: typical RF irony.
    – you come to: typical RF understatement. What he’s really saying is – please come with me.

  20. kelsey says:

    i think this poem is very well written and it makes sense. I also like it because it describes relationships that kids have with their parents. Robert Frost is by far my favorite poet poet because his poems are very thought provoking

  21. Leko says:

    I like the simplicity of this poem. it’s somewhat bring fresh air up to my trite life. i think it’s about the celebration every little details of daily life and the celebrations of birth, the greatest gift of all living things. i read the comments above and it’s such so much help for me to understand the poem more in another angle and some of it is toching.

  22. halie says:

    i really love this poem it is so fun to read. this is one of the many of roberts poems i enjoy.

  23. Jessica says:

    I love this poem. To me this poem is about death. Knowing about Frost’s history, I really feel like he is trying to cope with the death in his life. When this poem was written, he had lost four of his six children, all them by age four. So when they talk about the calf, to me it symbolizes his children. I think he was teaching his two older children that when people or animals are suffering that they should be but out of their misery like his children were.

  24. Betty Blake says:

    I love this poem, the simplicity of it, and it describes the relationship I had with my father. to clean the pasture spring, in the spring when he did this ,as I child I always went with him.
    To fetch the little calf, how many times did I go with him to do this, and he would bring the little calf back on his shoulders. I lived in rural Vermont on a farm growing up.
    I know I have not analized the poem , but it touches my heart , and I wanted to say this about it.
    I read it at my father’s funeral.

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