Poetry Corner

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‘Leisure’   by W.H. Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

 

‘Leisure’ is the work of Welsh poet W. H. Davies. It originally appeared in his highly recommended ‘Songs Of Joy and Others’, published in 1911.

As an outdoors lifestyle enthusiast, I hope that you will be able to relate well to the sentiments expressed. I encourage you to think about the sights and sounds of nature which you may unwittingly be oblivious to in your haste to achieve your stated daily aims.

William Henry Davies lived from 1871-1940. He was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. His father was a Publican. After an apprenticeship as a picture-frame maker and a series of labouring jobs, he travelled to America, first to New York and then to the Klondike.

He returned to England after an accident whilst jumping a train in Canada, where he lost a foot. Upon his return to Britain he led a poor, hard life living in London lodging houses and as a peddler in the country. He married in 1923, Emma, who was much younger than he. His first poems were published when he was 34.

Most of his poetry is on the subject of nature or life on the road and exhibits a natural simple, earthy style. He also wrote two novels and autobiographical works, his best known being ‘Autobiography of a Super-Tramp’.

(Poetry Corner is edited by Freddie Day, Poetry Enthusiast, Free Spirit, Chain Smoker and erstwhile Wine Correspondent.)

 

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