I’ve been keeping up with the November Poem-A-Day poetry prompts at Poetic Asides. Yesterday’s was “Talk back to a dead poet. Choose a poem you like by a poet who is no longer living and offer a rebuttal.”
I chose the poem “Leisure” by W. H. Davies (1871-1940).
Here is the original:
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.
– W. H. Davies
My talk-back poem is more a reflection than a rebuttal. Some days I’d definitely prefer Davies’ brand of leisure. But, then, who can entirely resist ‘progress’?
Leisure these days
I think I’ll pass on woods and grass
if my connection’s nice and fast.
Ignore lithe Beauty’s dancing feet
as Google serves me sure and fleet.
Watch girl in sidebar smile or scowl
and not that pensive sheep or cow.
See YouTube arrow turn to bars
instead of watching squirrels and stars.
The stream of stars that I prefer
Netflix delivers all the year.
What good is life and what’s it worth
without the time to sit and surf?
– Violet Nesdoly (November 8, 2012)
I’m offering this poem to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by the dauntingly clever Ed DeCaria. Come on over to Poetry Friday: Findability, Discoverability, and Marketing to sample dozens of poetic offerings from the Kidlitosphere and beyond.