A Poem for a Thursday #63

Photo by Jennifer Arrington on Unsplash


William Henry Davies was a Welsh poet who lived from 1871-1940. When he was 22 he received an inheritance and used it to purchase a boat ticket to New York. He then spent the next six years traveling across the United States and Canada until he was injured while train hopping. He had to have one leg amputated below the knee. He then settled in London and spent his time writing poetry. That simple description of his life contains a novel in itself. I have so many questions about him now.  I am featuring this poem because I think we all should take a little time to stand and stare.

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 and 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
William Henry Davies

Brona shared a poem here.

8 comments

  1. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this. I am just getting back into reading blogs again and this is exactly what I needed to hear. Having a newborn forced me to slow down but I quickly feel life picking up again. I want M to have a slow childhood and this is just such a great reminder. Lovely poem.

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    1. It is nice to have you back! Life does seem to take over and it is so hard to take time to simply enjoy it. This is is a good reminder. I hope all three of you are doing well.

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  2. That's lovely! I've never heard of him.

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    1. I hadn't either. I am discovering so many poets.

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  3. For some reason I find it funny that even before invention of the internet, smartphones (and TV!) people were already complaining they had no time for anything. One wants to say: William Henry, you don't know the half of it.

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    1. I suppose people have always had something that distracts them and takes over their time. But we do live in an exceptionally and irritatingly busy time.

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  4. I remember this one from school, or maybe just poetry anthologies, but I couldn't have told you who wrote it! Thanks.

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    1. I like this one. I am going to try to stand and stare more often.

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