Critical Summary Leisure: The poem, Leisure, is written by William Davies. The poet says that man has everything except leisure. In his opinion man has entangled himself in responsibilities and worries. Man has no time to enjoy natural beauty around him. The poet laments that man of today cannot find any moment to see numerous beautiful scenes even in broad day light. He says the colourful budding flowers shine in the day like stars at night but man passes them without any interest in them.
He considers that man is devoid of “beauty’s glance”. Once, man would enjoy the beauty of Nature and everything would seem in harmony while in the company of Nature. But for the man of today, Nature has lost all it’s beauty. The poet creates a beautiful comparison between the rhythmic beauty of dance and the flowers and fields moving with wind. Once man found pleasure in the company of nature, today he is so preoccupied in his material needs that he cannot turn to nature. He diverts his attention from nature for worldly matters. He prefers wealth and material gains over treasures of nature. Robert Frost has put down the same in these words:
“The woods are dark, lovely and deep
But I have promises to keep.”
The poet expresses sadness over the loss of human faculty to appreciate beauty without any regard to financial or material gain but in this era of practicality and wealth focused individuals, the distance between man and nature is widening which is the cause of certain psychological and physical ailments which are being ignored presently.
Critical Summary Leisure – Use of Personification in the Poem:
William Davies has employed the use of personification in the poem “Leisure”. The poet has personified “beauty” which has been given the human attributes of “glance”, “dance” etc. The purpose of the poet is to reveal the fact that natural beauty is to be seen with the right outlook; it will help us look at things in what manner they should have been. The outer Nature is harmonious with human nature and reconciles to it, provided, man is willing to adapt to the “beauty’s glance” which he used to have in the pre-materialistic age. Even Wordsworth has given vent to his same belief in the following manner:
“Child is father to man”
The question arises “how” and “why”. The answer is “romantic imagination” of the child which evaporates by the time he grows up into a fully groomed matured man. The control of senses and the sensual loosens while the mind, full of material aspirations, takes hold of us.
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Further Reading & References:
- This poem is a part of BA English Syllabus-Punjab University
- University of the Punjab
- BA Admission Schedule
- BA Examination Schedule
- Critical Summary Leisure and the life of William Davies Life