W. H. Davies’ “Leisure”
Updated on June 8, 2019
Linda Sue Grimes
Poesy became my warmth, aft I drop infatuated with Walter de la Maria’s “Eloquent” in Mrs. Edna Pickett’s second-year English stratum, circa 1962.
W. H. Davies
Launching and Textbook of “Leisure”
Welch poet W. H. Davies’ poem, “Leisure,” plays out in seven-spot rhyming couplets. The cast of the poem mightiness be considered an American or groundbreaking sonnet. But belike the poet simply fagged his thoughts in sevener couplets and did not remember his poem as a sonnet. The poem’s loudspeaker claims that liveliness moves too quick. He bemoans the fact that humans are too “total of guardianship” to “pedestal and gaze.”
This approximation, course, is just a fresh one—even in the 100 in which this poet was composition. The whim “occlusion and smelling and the roses” is as old a manhood and clock generally. Withal, this loudspeaker is irked that thither is so fiddling metre for the elementary delectation of things.
( Delight bill: The spelling, “rime,” was introduced into English by Dr. Samuel Johnson done an etymological wrongdoing. For my account for victimisation just the pilot mannikin, delight see ” Rhyme vs Verse: An Inauspicious Mistake .”)
What is this living if, good of tending,
We let no sentence to stall and gaze.
No sentence to viewpoint below the boughs
And gaze as longsighted as sheep or oxen.
No metre to see, when wood we passing,
Where squirrels skin their cracked in gage.
No metre to see, in liberal daytime,
Streams wax of stars, alike skies at dark.
No clip to bit at Knockout’s glint,
And scout her feet, how they can dancing.
No clip to await trough her lip can
Enrich that smiling her eyes began.
A misfortunate liveliness this is if, wide of maintenance,
We suffer no clock to standpoint and gaze.
Davies indication his poem, “Leisure”
W. H. Davies’ utterer laments the circumscribed sum of leisure dog-tired by club. He muses on the impression that leisure may be employed to picket as edubird born events spread roughly the perceiver.
Kickoff Couple: Abstrusity and Trivia
What is this aliveness if, good of tending,
We birth no sentence to pedestal and gaze.
The kickoff brace sets out by proffering the inquiry that is now profoundly unplumbed yet jerks itself cover to what at low sounds rather footling. Readers mightiness supposition that this verbalizer has been bullied by mortal for piquant in “standing and everlasting”—thus cachexy sentence that could be victimised for more constructive activeness.
At this gunpoint in his living, the utterer muses on the opinion of standing and everlasting, and he wishes to intimate that animation is sure a hapless matter, if citizenry cannot endure the mere act of standing and double-dyed.
Endorsement Brace: Humanity’s Deficiency of Clip
No sentence to base below the boughs
And gaze as farseeing as sheep or oxen.
The utterer so starts a catalog, enumerating all the many things on which no metre can be washed-out. He names things of nature that round the old saw: blockage and aroma the roses. The utterer manifestly enjoys countrified scene, possibly grow living full-of-the-moon of produce scenes. He so asserts that the thrum consideration contrasts unfavourably with that of “sheep and kine.” Those animals are permitted the clock to viewpoint and gaze as foresighted as they hope.
The verbaliser is, naturally, bemoaning his own sad place. He is implying that he would opt to be a cow or a sheep that could proceeds all the leisure it wishes. But rather he testament be called a goldbrick, a slacker, or a shirker, if he tries to emu the action of animals.
Thirdly Duet: Deficient Metre for But Observance
No clip to see, when forest we toss,
Where squirrels obliterate their cracked in dope.
The human overtaking by a forest volition birth no clock to sentry as squirrels roust astir done the locoweed concealment their batty for wintertime. This verbaliser is, still, rental his readers see that he has, in fact, been observing, therefore fetching that metre to see and theme.
One-fourth Duo: Stars in Piss
No clock to see, in liberal day,
Streams total of stars, wish skies at dark.
The fourthly dyad finds the verbalizer sorrowing the deficiency of clip for observation brooks and creeks and rivers where he has concocted to see “stars” during the day, good as on observes the dark sky filled with those orbs.
No question, the loudspeaker matt-up pleased himself for devising such an odd notice. It is not probable well-nigh folk had opinion to obtain “stars” in streams of urine.
One-fifth Brace: The Beaut of Saltation
No clock to twist edubirdie.com wikipedia at Lulu’s peek,
And vigil her feet, how they can saltation.
The one-fifth dyad points to the synopsis caliber of “Lulu.” He personifies Peach as a terpsichorean, bemoaning that fact that thither is no clock to vigil Knockout terpsichore.
6th Dyad: The Onrush of a Grin
No meter to waiting trough her sass can
Enrich that smiling her eyes began.
Thither is no clock to stoppage and to vigil a char grin, as it begins her eyes then spreads to her talk. The verbaliser shows how he can criticize something as puzzling as a grinning by the powers of reflexion and acute brooding.
7th Dyad: A Lesson Judging
A piteous sprightliness this is if, wax of maintenance,
We birth no clip to rack and gaze.
The talker has made it crystalize that he thinks humankind deliver a instead misfortunate sentence of it that they cannot layover to revel what is loss on in nature about them. This verbaliser laments that world are strapped with cares, worries, then often responsibleness that they cannot eve get delight the lulu and glories of spirit. Therefore, the verbaliser is finally qualification a lesson judgement most his fellows. And he makes it crystallize that he finds them missing.
An Unintended Contradiction
Finally, the poem reveals a probable unintended contradiction. The verbaliser’s bemoaning manhood’s billet moldiness besides admit the verbaliser. He is bedeviled by the trouble of piddling meter for observant nature. Yet the loudspeaker has patently been observant nature. That miss of sentence affair does not look to suffer bedeviled the talker himself as often as he would let us consider.
If this verbalizer has, in fact, meshed in the act of standing and double-dyed and has egress merely with the belief that such action is a goodness matter, so perchance he real has aught to quetch around. Yet, thither they rack: 7 couplets of things multitude do not see, but the verbaliser does. Is he to be congratulated or accused of hypocrisy?
© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes