Published by Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at University of Greenwich, London

A Poem with a difference

In life, there’s always something, may it be a song, a poem, an object, etc. whatever it maybe, that will make you look at life in a slightly different angle.

What was the “thing” that made the change for you? For me, it was a poem called ‘Leisure’ by William Henry Davies. You see, I’ve always enjoyed the outdoor spaces; I love the pretty things as well as the awkwardness of others. I enjoy the changing scenery; the change of time through the day and change of seasons through the year… just getting fresh air makes me happy. But ever since I stumbled upon this poem, I’ve made sure that I make an effort to stop, think and take a different look at things around me. Because its always the little details that makes a difference.

I couldn’t help but to think what life must’ve been like during W.H Davies’s time (1971-1940).  What made him pen such poem down? Where people more concerned about getting to their destination than experiencing the journey? But nature had so much to offer then than what we have now… much more of green and pasture sights, so clear and uninterrupted. Whereas today, especially in cities, all you see if a cloud of smoke in front of you (not just smokers), much of the land is built up with dense concrete almost everywhere. And those skyscrapers are endless. Literally in your face, as I experience it everyday with the shard. And rush hour is truly rush hour…But if you look closely, cities do have green spaces. Some are good and some could be better. Nature evolves and changes every minute. It has some much to tell us, so much to teach us and it provides so much for us. If only we could look a couple of seconds more, I am sure we would be able to learn even more from it. This poem may be old but it is so relevant in today’s life.

So while I sip a glass of wine, here’s to my favourite poem of all time.


“LEISURE” By William Henry 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.


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