W.H. Davies was born in south Wales, in the small town of Newport, Gwent, in 1871. He left school in his mid teens, and was apprenticed to a picture frame business. A wide and enthusiastic reader, he nurtured ambitions of travel, which the death of an aunt helped realise, for he was left with a small legacy. Having travelled to the USA, he lived as a tramp for some years. Then, while moving north to Canada, he lost a leg through jumping a train.
He returned to England, and continued a vagrant life, frequenting the doss houses of London. His first collection, The Soul's Destroyer (1905), established many of the key features of Davies's verse: pastoralism, sympathy for the underdog, and an often childlike simplicity of …
Bridges, James. "W. H. Davies". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2003
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