Friday, January 02, 2009

Poetry Friday - Leisure



Yesterday I posted about my word for this year. It's a very simple one: LOOK. Poetry is written by people who look, people who notice the things that others walk by without taking a second glance.

I thought about this poem during our beach trip just after Christmas. The country where I live is a place in which staring is not considered rude. We had a gentleman come and sit on the beach and stare at us. We were the only people there, and he was looking right at us, so I don't think he was there for the scenery. At first I felt a bit annoyed, and then I started thinking of the opening words of the William Henry Davies poem "Leisure."


Leisure

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.


You can read the rest of the poem here.

I don't have a lot of time to stand and stare; I spend most of my days rushing around accomplishing the work on my to-do list. This year I want to take more time to pay attention.

Here's today's roundup.

5 comments:

Janet said...

That's a great poem. I have a quota of staring time each afternoon, but alas, I waste it staring blankly out the window and daydreaming.

I fear I'd have been less gracious with your beach-gazer... bolting suddenly to my feet and demanding, "WHAT?!"

Cloudscome said...

"Look" is an excellent word. I am sure we can spend the year trying to master it. I will keep this in mind. And thanks for the poem,which I will keep in mind when refraining from rushing my sons in and out.

Anonymous said...

I really don't think that staring is socially acceptable in our country but rather is socially acceptable for the local to stare at a visitor. I used to check this out frequently when I would notice people in the public transportation simply sitting and staring at us in our car. I would tell my children to stop what they were doing and stare at those staring. Immediately the starers (sp?) would look away as if embarrassed. I never got the idea they believed they had a right to stare but they were just too inquisitive to let the urge pass.

Ruth said...

Yes, Anon, I think you are right. Yesterday I was out with a mom and baby and the baby kept looking around at everything. I remarked how great it was that he was so curious and the mom said that was a sign of being rude, because he was staring at everything! Pretty funny. I guess it's not rude to stare at ME, but it is rude to stare at anyone else. Ha.

laurasalas said...

I enjoyed the poem and your post--My theme for the year is Do Nothing for 10-15 minutes each day. I hope to spend plenty of days daydreaming that time away and an equal number outside, just staring in wonder. It's something I never, ever do, being too caught up in the to-do list of life, as you said!