In Envy of Cows
The cow swings her head in a deep drowsy half-circle to and over
Flank and shoulder, lunging
At flies; then fragrantly plunging
Down at the web-washed grass and the golden clover,
Wrenching sideways to get the full tingle; with one warm nudge,
One somnolent wide smudge
Sacred to kine,
Crushing a murmurous of late lush August to wine!
The sky is even water-tone behind suave poplar trees—
Color of glass; the cows
That color, disturb the pellucid cool poplar frieze
With beauty of motion slow and succinct like some grave privilege
Fulfilled. They taste the edge
Of August, they need
No more: they have rose vapors, flushed silence, pulpy milkweed.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 8, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“In Envy of Cows” was published in An Anthology of Magazine Verse in 1923 (B. J. Brimmer, 1923).
Joseph Auslander was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1897. The first consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress, he was the author of several poetry collections, including The Unconquerables: Salutes to the Undying Spirit of the Nazi-Occupied Countries (Simon and Schuster, 1943).
Date Published: 1923-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/envy-cows