Wednesday, June 6, 2012

'Leisure' by William Henry Davies (Episode 2)

Poem: Leisure
What is the poem all about?

Couplet 1:
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

The poet questions the purpose of a life which is full of worries that it does not give us any space to simply stand still and watch the world go by.

Couplet 2:
No time to stand beneath the boughs
  And stare as long as sheep or cows.

People who live a hectic life would not possess the leisure to stand under the branches of trees and keep staring into space. However, sheep and cows can often be seen standing still in vast open fields and staring into a distance.

Couplet 3:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

When people walk pass a forest, they would be in too much of a hurry to notice the nooks and crannies in the grass where squirrels hide their nuts.

Couplet 4:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

In daylight, rivers appear to be sparkling under the effect of sunshine as though the streams are full of stars like the night sky.

Couplet 5:
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

The rush of life provides people with no leisure to turn at the glance of a beautiful girl and marvel at her dancing feet.

Couplet 6:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

They are unable to leisurely observe her as her mouth shapes out a smile that started from her eyes.

Couplet 7:
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

A life which is so tied down by worries that it allows one no time for leisure is indeed a miserable life. It means that we have a poor life if we have no time to relax physically or mentally.

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