Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Poem for the day, for your coffee break

Tea breaks and coffee breaks were always very important to my mum, and she loved the Italian equivalent which is called 'merenda.'
My poem for the day  would seem to agree with her, we must all make time just to appreciate what and who is near to our hearts.

Leisure, W.H.Davies, (1871 -1940)

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.

You might be forgiven for thinking, on reading this poem, that William Henry Davies just wafted around, strolling along in the Beech Woods with lots of time to stand and stare, but actually his life was quite a busy one.

He was born in Monmouthshire in 1871 and brought up by his grandparents. He discovered a passion for poetry while at school and abandoned his apprenticeship as a picture-framer to try his luck in America.
While there he lead a restless life, leading a nomadic existence, riding freight cars, working in the fruit fields and narrowly escaping with his life after contacting malaria and being attacked by robbers.
W.H.Davies  joined the Gold Rush to the Klondike with his friend Three Fingered Jack, but slipped trying to jump on to a moving train and lost a leg.

He returned to London and lived in a hostel for homeless people, but luckily his poetry began to attract attention and he started to earn some money and in 1923 at the age of 52, he married a nurse about half his age. He wrote a huge amount of poetry but the one above is probably his most famous.


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