Interpretation Of The Poem – MONEY

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

How poor men’s hearts are ever light;

And how their wives do hum like bees

About their work from morn till night.

So, when I hear these poor ones laugh,

And see the rich ones coldly frown

Poor men, think I, need not go up

So much as rich men should come down.

When I had money, money, O!

My many friends proved all untrue;

But now I have no money, O!

My friends are real, though very few.

This poem has been penned down by a Welsh poet and writer, William H Davies. He took first hand experience of being a poor man by travelling as a tramp or a hobo and singing on the streets to earn money. The present poem -Money, expresses the joy of being poor.

The poet intends to tell his readers that, when he possessed a lot of money, many friends would come knocking at his door to spend time with him. These were not his true friends as they were only stooped on his wealth and had got nothing to do with his friendship. His so called ‘friends’ would come over to his place, to grab advantage of his possessions and luxury. He did not realise their motive, until he got poor by giving up his affluence.

While he was rich, he would feel bound with social restrictions and unnecessary etiquettes. He used to feel trapped under the burden of mannerisms of the high classed. He described this feeling of his, by writing that, he felt like a child who owns a trumpet, but is disallowed to blow it as a man was dead. The poet does not wish to let his feelings be known by the outer world, because people are already under the influence that money is the sole route to happiness.

He wholeheartedly wishes, that the rich men must try going down to the status of poor men in order to experience real joy of life. According to him, the poor ones need to go up to the level of the rich men, because they are already enjoying the real happiness in life. He has noticed that, the rich men have a very vinegar aspect, they control their laughter and happiness in order to display themselves as composed and well mannered. But, the hearts of poor men are always light, since they express their contentment as they wish to, without the concern of what image they are portraying to the world.

Also, the people who used to visit the poet’s house masked as friends, all vanished after the poet gave up on his money. Hence, he realised that, those friends of his, were all untrue, since they were only interested in his money. After giving up all the wealth, he remained with a very few number of friends but those were all genuine ones.

Through this piece of writing, we can infer that happiness is the ultimate goal of life and money plays a minor role in it. This poem attempts to make us aware about the situations and ways in which one can experience the real happiness in life, apart from materialistic joy.

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