My PhD Poem: Brown Cow

The beach is a good place to write poetrySo it’s good to have a healthy laugh at yourself once in a while, right? Nice to be able to just let go and be creative. A PhD can be pretty soul destroying without the right mind-set. I’ve always found writing poetry a good tonic for my cognitive ailments, and below you’ll find the grand total of my efforts one Tuesday afternoon sometime in 2010 – a poem about my PhD. How will they remember the poet laureate Dr. Trevor Bond, if not with this seminal piece? Enjoy.

Brown cow

The cow is brown, no doubt about it
The cow is brown, no need to shout it
Keep your voice down, if you want to see
Where it is that brown cow will wee
Terrestrial? Riparian? Or on the floodplain?
The geomorphic impact is hard to explain
As nutrient impacts from urine and faeces
Could affect all kinds of species
Not to mention the soil compaction
That results from cattle traction
And what of the grazing, as these cattle eat
All of the grass around their feet?

So many factors, so much to consider
But we need results, someone to deliver
And we choose you, PhD student Bond
As we are told, of cattle you are fond
And to say thank you for this favour
Here’s some money for you labour
We’ll give you a title in four years too
And then they’ll be nothing you can’t do
Girls, cars, a playboy mansion
Your own office with room for expansion
All the perks and nothing to lose
As long as you don’t mind counting cow poos

‘Oh, no, that sounds great!
And faecal analysis can be done in the States
I also don’t mind the 6am starts
Nor the unique smell of cow farts
Nor the data entry, nor the processing
I will consider it all a blessing
If after this time, people can see
What it is that became of me
From rags to riches, to turn out clever
You can call me Doctor please, not Trevor’



  1. This makes me so happy 🙂

  2. […] the Southampton Geography and Environment postgraduate blog. 63 blogs have been posted ranging from cattle related poetry to issues of ship breaking in Bangladesh. Some of our contributors have even enlightened readers […]

  3. Reblogged this on The River Management Blog and commented:

    I originally wrote this poem a couple of years ago for my PhD. It’s only loosely connected to river management, but I’m reblogging it because I think it might bring a few smiles on a dreary Monday morning

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