Saints and Lodgers by WH Davies
William Henry Davies (1871-1940) was a Welsh poet andwriter. He was also a traveller and adventurer, often livingon his wits as a tramp and itinerant labourer. After a seriousaccident while attempting to board a train in eastern Canadawhile on the way to the Klondike Gold Fields he returnedto London and began to write. He would become one of themost popular poets of his time with his work championed byboth Edward Thomas and George Bernard Shaw. Famous for his prose memoir The Autobiography of a Super-tramp, he is best-known as a poet for ‘Leisure’, a hymn toliving slow and having ‘time to stand and stare’. Saints andLodgers offers an introduction to the wide range of Davies’spoetry which lies beyond his famous reputation. Here arehymns to the beauty of his native south Wales and to thenatural world, poems in praise of lives lived on the marginsand on the streets, drinking songs and songs of the sea. Morethan anything, as Newport poet Jonathan Edwards arguesin his compelling introduction, Davies emerges as a poetof people, who never turns away from the suffering or thebeauty of the saints and lodgers among whom he lives. Jonathan Edwards’s first collection of poems, My Family and OtherSuperheroes received the Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Book of theYear People’s Choice Award. He lives in Crosskeys, near Newport, and iseditor of Poetry Wales.