NIOS Class 12 English: Poem Leisure Chapter 2 Summary of the Poem ‘Leisure’ by William Davies

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Summary of the Poem ‘Leisure’ by William Davies

  • The poem ‘Leisure’ is a beautiful composition by Welsh Poet, William Davies on modern man.
  • Davies highlights how modernity has alienated us from simplicity and brought the drastic changes in our life.
  • He says that the advancement and progress have changed the thinking, behaviour and outlook of modern man.
  • The modernity has created several detrimental effects on human lives.
  • It has taken the simplicity away from modern people.
  • According to the poet, nowadays all that a person needs are luxury, care and comfort.
  • One does not have the leisure to enjoy natural vibes.
  • In this poem, the poet highlights the importance of nature and how it helps one to keep his spirit alive.
  • The poet reflects upon the busy and hectic schedule of the modern man now a days.
  • He expresses his concern about the life a modern man having no time to enjoy and play.
  • The modern man is so much obsessed with work that have no time for activities such as read a book, play a game, watch a movie, go for a walk, listen to music, watch T. V. , visit a friend, go for excursion or admire the beauty of nature.
  • He draws our attention towards all these leisurely activities which are completely neglected by a modern man due to his fast and hectic life.
  • The poet mentions several examples in the poem to justify his points.
  • He ponders over the complex life of man full of worries, anxiety, and responsibilities which has engulfed him in an endless and meaningless actions.
  • The poet mourns that today the man is bound to work only and does not have time to cherish and admire the beauty of nature.
  • The poet wishes to connect his deep concern with his readers that nature is storehouse of immense joy, source of peace, ocean of unlimited resources, a huge treasure in its womb and beacon of hope for many but still man is so heartless and unthankful towards the nature.
  • He even does not have time to pay humble regard and express gratitude to nature for its timeless, never-ending and free services.
  • The poet interestingly points out the chief qualities of nature one by one and directly or indirectly tries to convince his readers to be a part of nature, participate, involve and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature out of their busy schedule to relax their mind, body and soul.
  • The poem, in fact is a sharp satire on modern man. In the first two lines, the poet says that we, the human beings have no time to stand for a while and look at the beauty of nature.
  • The poet directly raises the question about complex and hectic routines of our daily life.
  • He questions about the life of man, full of care, anxiety and responsibilities and no time to see beauty of nature.
  • In the last stanza the poet also answers this question.
  • In the second stanza, the poet expresses his point of view that even we have no time to stand under the beautiful and green branches of trees which give us comfort and tranquility in all seasons.
  • Here the poet wises to make us realize that how these trees are lovely and beautiful but unfortunately, we ourself have deprived us of their beauty since we spare no moment to stare and admire their beauty in all aspects.
  • The poet perhaps in the anguish further says that animals like cows and sheep are far better than humans who have time to enjoy beauty of green trees and take shelter for peace and relaxation under the lap of nature.
  • In third stanza, the poet communicates that when we pass through tall trees, even then we do not seek golden opportunity to spare some moments to stop and look at their beauty.
  • The poet says that these dark and tall trees provide pleasant, charming, attractive, soothing and appealing scenery where squirrels or other small animals play and hide their foods in the grass for the winter season.
  • He again wants to realize us that we are always in hurry and miss to enjoy, capture and store these beautiful scenes of natural beauty in our mind.
  • In fourth stanza, the poet presents a beautiful imagery that at day time when rays of the sun fall upon the water of streams and river and their reflection looks like stars in the sky at night.
  • But our busy routines are barriers to adore, appreciate and enjoy such beautiful scenes and we always fail to catch them.
  • The poet says that the nature is always with us and stand by our side but we fail to give attention to it and made our life complex and busy.
  • In fifth stanza, the poet wonderfully personifies nature՚s beauty as a beautiful young girl dancing with a smiling face.
  • Here, he compares beauty as a beautiful dancing girl which should catch our attention but our busy routines made us blind.
  • We cannot see her dance though she is dancing in front of our eyes.
  • He says that we have no quest to explore aesthetic beauty of the nature.
  • He voices and emphasises on to realize that our busy routines of life taking us very far from natural world and natural beauty and making our life just full of burden, sorrowful, sad, full of worrisome, and unhealthy.
  • He goes on further explaining that when beauty is dancing, we cannot see her feet because of busy life.
  • We are immersed in lot of idle works and living a life full of misery and deprived of happiness in absence of enjoying the beauty of nature.
  • The poet expresses grief over disregard and carelessness of human being to see the beautiful state of nature in its different shades, multiple colours, and myriad variety.
  • He draws attention towards resourcefulness and abundance of treasure found in nature and tries to make us understand how unlucky we are now to miss all these beauties of nature.
  • In sixth stanza, William Davies extends his points of view that beauty is scattered all around us but we are unable to see it as we are very much busy in our day today works.
  • The poet personifies nature as a beautiful girl; he says that we cannot see her smiling face.
  • Because we have no time to stand and stare at nature that can refresh and heal us.
  • We remain busy in worldly pursuits and miss delights of natural world.
  • In last stanza, the poets take pity on human being that man has a life full of care and worrisome.
  • He says that if we have no time to enjoy nature; we are living a poor, miserable and tedious life.
  • The nature has prominent place in our life.
  • It gives us pleasure, peace and joy without paying any amount.
  • It bestows joys by its beautiful scenes, shades and colours and showers happiness all around with a lovely smile.
  • The man can develop positive thinking and positive behaviour by looking at the nature.
  • The poet says that as human beings, we should spare some time to look at natural beauty spread all around us to enjoy life.
  • He answers his question that it is completely a poor life if have no time to enjoy and entertain natural beauty.
  • He summarizes the poem by saying that our life is full of hardships and worries.

Use of Personification-Figure of Speech

  • Personification is a tool of figurative language where an inanimate object or an abstract idea is attributed with traits of living beings.
  • In another words, the thing which is being personified can be living (such as an animal) , inanimate (such as a vehicle) or even just a concept (such as experience, justice or time) .
  • Hence, giving a non-human object any human emotions, desires, movements, expressions or speech is described as personification. In the poem ‘Leisure’ , William Davies beautifully personifies beauty as a beautiful dancing girl with smile on her face.
  • Here natural beauty is attributed with living beings՚ traits like dancing, smiling and having feet.
  • In another words, the poet has given human qualities to the beauties of nature.
  • He has beautifully used the personification and increased the beauty of poem. The use of personification left the readers spellbound and increased their interest.

Tone of the Poem

  • The tone of the poem is entirely satirical.
  • William Davies satirizes human beings for their deviances from nature and over involvement in their works.
  • Throughout the poem, the poet makes sharp sarcasm on humans for their negligence towards nature՚s beauty.
  • He again and again draws attention of the readers towards restless and hectic life of human due to which he is unable to admire and enjoy the beauty of nature.
  • The poet directly satirizes human beings and prefers animals upon them who have time to enjoy nature.
  • The diction is very simple and quite appropriate to the subject-matter of the poem.

Structure of the Poem ‘Leisure’

  • The poem ‘Leisure’ consists of seven couplets.
  • It means there are a total of 14 lines in this poem. William Davies uses a regular rhyme scheme. The rhyme scheme of the poem is AA BB and it goes on like this.
  • As an example, in the first couplet, “care” and “stare” rhyme together.
  • Apart from that, there is also regularity in the metrical scheme of the poem.
  • There are a total of 8 syllables in each line and the stress falls on the second syllable of each foot.
  • It means each line contains four iambs.
  • For this reason, the overall poem is composed in iambic tetrameter.
  • Some of the words that rhyme in the poem are as follow –

Care ________Satre


Pass ________Grass

Glance ________Dance

Can ________Began


  • The poem ‘Leisure’ presents several themes such as modernity, simplicity, spirituality, nature, and most importantly leisure.
  • William Davies specially highlights the theme, leisure.
  • It is most important theme in context of poem and related to modern man and his life.
  • It depicts the hollowness of modern man as he has no time to see beauty of nature, play games, watch movies, go walking, visit friends and listen music etc.
  • Now a days, the modern man is surrounded by lot of works, sorrow, anxiety and worrisome.
  • He has a life full of hardship and responsibilities and cannot spare the time to witness the beauty of nature.
  • The poet states that the life of modern man is full of misery and painful moments lacking happiness, joy, and peace.
  • The modernity and progress have provided him comfort and care but taken away the real and natural joy of life.
  • Throughout the poem, the poet highlights the importance of leisure in one՚s life.
  • Thereafter, another important theme of the poem, modernity, leaves the readers spellbound and convinces them to rethink of their changed lifestyle and their aftermath effects.
  • Here, the poet expresses how modernity keeps modern people alienated from nature.
  • Apart from that, this poem is a celebration of simplicity and simple activities that keep one՚s spirit alive.
  • The poet advocates the simplicity and motivates the readers to return to nature for a peaceful life and path to spirituality.