Andrew Hudgins's Poem 'The Cow'

406 Words2 Pages
SUMMARY: Andrew Hudgins’s poem, “The Cow,” describes the life cycle of a farm cow from a boy’s perspective. In the beginning, the boy expresses his true love for the cow because she pulls his cart and provides the family with rich milk. Then as the cow grows old and too weak to milk, the boy explains in detail how to slaughter the cow and dispose of her innards. Lastly, the boy reveals that he remembers six other cows that have suffered the same fate and he rejoices in how delicious the steak is, especially when slathered in butter. As the love for the cow shifts from beloved pet to useless animal, Hudgin emphasizes the change between true love and materialistic love.
As I read the first two stanzas, I imagined a sweet, roan cow that is the family pet. Hudgins describes the richness of the cow’s milk and her gentleness with the boy. Hudgins employs an affectionate tone to allow the reader to also love the cow. However, the tone drastically changes in the third stanza. Hudgins describes that the family slit the throat of the cow when she became old and fed her innards to the dogs. Hudgins uses harsh words, such as “slit,” “slaughter,” and
…show more content…
I did not understand how a family could love an animal then slaughter it so violently. Despite my feelings, the poem emphasized the importance of using the entire animal. Although the way the family slaughtered the animal is not ideal, they at least maximized the use from the animal. It is more senseless to waste parts of the animals. In addition, I related the poem to how materialistic society is today. Once something seems useless, we throw it out and get the new, improved version. For example, if an new iPhone is released, everyone drops their “old” phone to buy the brand new one that has practically unnoticeable differences. Although I had an idea of our shallowness, Hudgins reinforced just how materialistic our generation

More about Andrew Hudgins's Poem 'The Cow'

Open Document