Money’ is the poem written by English Poet W.H. Davies. He was a Welsh poet , known as the ‘Tramp poet’.  All his poems and lyrics have a force and simplicity. In this poem, the poet presents his self-experienced wisdom that money makes the world go round. When the poet had money, he had a very big circle of friends. Many false friends would come knocking at his door. These friends used to often visit him as they thought that they could benefit from being with a wealthy man. But when he became poor, these so-called friends left him all alone. This made the poet realize that his big circle of friends was actually fake. And he recognized that the very few friends who did not leave him in his misery, were his true friends. In this way, he experienced the real worth of joy and happiness in spite of being poor.

The poet explains his idea by giving the example of a child holding a trumpet. The child is in possession of a trumpet but is unable to blow it, because of someone’s death. It is all-together against manners and custom to blow a trumpet when someone has died. Similarly, the poet feels that he was unable to tell about his realization to his false friends that true joy and happiness can be experienced only when one is poor. When he was rich, he lacked that much desired freedom, liberty. In the midst of his false friends, it was almost impossible for him to reveal it. Such was his miserable condition, when he was rich.

The poet further reveals his thoughtful wisdom, that poor men are happy and contented with their lives. They are happy from the bottom of their heart. They live a simple life. When their basic needs are fulfilled, they are happy. Their wives are seen busy taking pride in  talking about their husband’s work. Their husbands work day-night. And they are happy in the life, though it is full of poverty.

The poet says that he has often seen the poor people being happy and cheerful. This quality of the poor amazes him a lot. He feels that this is because their hearts are clear and pure. They do not chase wealth and are not pretentious. Contrast to this, the rich people are unfriendly, rude and constantly dissatisfied. Due to this, the poet is of the opinion that it is not necessary for the poor to become rich as necessary it is for the rich to become poor. The rich should become poor to understand the true richness of life. It is the philosophy of the poet that one can really understand and enjoy true happiness when one becomes poor.

The last stanza effectively highlights the theme of the poem that when one has money that means in prosperity, he has many friends, but they are unreal and false. And when he becomes poor, and is without money, he has few but real and true friends. It is the hard-earned self-experience of the poet that in spite of being  poor, he enjoys the richness of true friendship.

The rhyme scheme of the poem – I to IV stanza is abcb. and V Stanza – abab

Figure of speech

  1. Inversion – Words are not in prose order.
  • For many a false man as a friend

         Came knocking all day at my door.

  • Then felt I like a child that holds
  • Much have I thought of life, and seen
  • Poor men, think I, need not go up
  • My many friends proved all untrue;

     2. Simile –

  • For many a false man as a friend

-False man are directly compared to friend.

  • Then felt I like a child that holds
     A trumpet that he must not blow

-The poet compares himself directly to a child.

  • And how their wives do hum like bees

-The wives are directly compared to bees.

     3. Repetition –

  • When I had money, money, O!

– The word ‘Money’ is repeated for emphasis.

     4. Onomatopoeia –

  •       And how their wives do hum like bees

– The word ‘hum’ echoes the sound.

     5. Antithesis –

  • About their work from morn till night.

– Morn and night are two opposite words used.

  • 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.

– ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ – opposite words are used together.

– ‘laugh and ‘frown’– opposite words are used together.

– ‘up and ‘down’– opposite words are used together.

     6. Alliteration – Consonant sounds are repeated in successive words for melody.

  • Because a man is dead; I dared
  • My many friends proved all untrue;



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