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In the Country- An Analysis

Posted by K. J. Shibu Kallada on November 29, 2011 at 5:50 AM

"God made the country, man made the town" - William Cowper.


In an age of modernisation and urbanisation, it is very natural that people prefer towns to villages. The comforts and conveniences in a town for a modern man, are of course, remarkable. But the most miserable aspects of life is more obviously seen in a city than in a village. Many poets and writers have praised the country, as opposed to the town, for its natural beauty and the simplicity of its people.

W.H. Davies, a 20th-century poet a vagrant, a nomad, was content to live a simple life . In this poem he compares the town and the country in a strikingly different way .He finds the miseries of the too poor, and suffering people in towns as more significant than the comforts and beauty of the town.

The opening lines refer sarcastically to the “ women white with care' and “men with wasted muscles”.The luxurious, lazy life of the upper class is distinctly portrayed in these lines.

The poet is happy in a village, because he rarely listens to the hungry cry of a child.

He feels guilty to keep himself away from the unfortunate, suffering people. But what can he do if he sees only pains and hears only weeps? He cannot be proud of the Great statue when the starving people live at its feet. He is very sensitive and he feels sympathy for these poor creatures. But alas his hands are empty. He cannot enjoy the green tree in the city park, when the tree serves only as a temporary shelter for the homeless. He knows it is irresponsible and selfish of him to turn away from the misery of the city poor but he finds there is little he can do to relieve their misery. He therefore finds life in the woods the sweetest since he is not faced with the crushingmisery of others every day.

The closing lines describe a greedy wolf and a pitiable prey . The sounds of groaning and sighs take thereader virtually to a world of the exploiters and the exploited.


 


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6 Comments

Reply Manju K K
11:14 AM on December 1, 2011 
thank you sir for that wonderful interpretation...
However i didnt understand the line "i see no woman whiite with care"...in that poem...
Reply K. J. Shibu Kallada
1:19 AM on December 2, 2011 
Manju K K says...
thank you sir for that wonderful interpretation...
However i didnt understand the line "i see no woman whiite with care"...in that poem...


Thank you Ms. Manju for your good words.
'White with care ' may refer to any person who turned pale/white with over-make up, luxurious life. It may also signify the 'immature' grey hair.
Reply sobhanajoshi
3:26 AM on December 12, 2011 
A GOOD INTERPRETATION.Lot can be added with these,you have given even more possibility to look into the poem.Thank u
Reply Mathew M.J.
7:29 PM on January 5, 2012 
God made the earth man makes it paradise by his fellow-love
Reply Younus Salim P.V
8:53 AM on January 30, 2012 
I like the line "No man, with muscles wasting here"
Though the luxurious and lazy life of the upper class is portrayed here, it is quite interesting to notice that the younger generation today are going to the gymnasium to develop a six pack muscle, they walk though the town just showing their muscles and do nothing. They are wasting their muscles but the people in the village work hard and develop muscles out of hardwork. It was quiet interesting for the students when we discussed this side also in the class.
Reply JOBI MATHEW T
11:37 AM on June 5, 2012 
fantastic interpretation...i could read the poem in a different way.