|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.