William Henry Davies (3 July 1871 – 26 September 1940 / Monmouthshire / Wales)
Biography of William Henry Davies
William Henry Davies was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. His father was, at the time a Publican. He was brought up by his grandparents in The Church House inn. After an apprenticeship as a picture-frame maker and a series of labouring jobs, he travelled to America, first to New York and then to the Klondike.
He returned to England after an accident whilst jumping a train in Canada, he lost a foot. Upon his return to Britain he led a poor, hard life living in London lodging houses and as a pedlar in the country. He married in 1923, Helen, who was much younger than he. His first poems were published when he was 34.
Most of his poetry is on the subject of nature or life on the road and exhibits a natural simple, earthy style. He also wrote two novels and autobiographical works, his best known being Autobiography of a Super-Tramp
He died in 1940.
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When I had money, money, O!
I knew no joy till I went poor;
For many a false man as a friend
Came knocking all day at my door.
Then felt I like a child that holds
A trumpet that he must not blow
Because a man is dead; I dared
Not speak to let this false world know.
Much have I thought of life, and seen