DAVIES, WILLIAM HENRY (1871-1940, Welsh poet)
PORTRAIT BY ALVIN LANGDON COBURN (1882-1966), photogravure, half length, half turned to the left looking into the camera, smoking his pipe, framed and glazed, size of image 6 x 6 inches (20 x15 cm), overall size13 x 10 inches (35 x 27 cm), [from More Men of Mark, 1922]
This image is from the book form of More Men of Mark, with the image separately tipped onto the mounting sheet bearing the plate number and facsimile of Davies's signature under the mount, not from any proof set with handwritten inscriptions by Coburn.
'Coburn wrote in his introduction about photographing Davies: 'I found him living in a London suburb, but at the back of his abode was a thick wood. One of the surprising things London does - but one must be a poet to appreciate them - is to enclose bits of rural nature in large quadrangles of bricks and mortar, and then forget all about them. Real fragments of Fairy-land they sometimes are, and of course Davies had discovered one. And the birds sang even in the November trees, a sad note, and London seemed far away and remote. How much poetry depends upon the ability to create an atmosphere! Davies lives his poetry as well as he writes it; he does not string words together according to a classic formula: they bubble out of the fullness of his heart, hence his direct and appealing charm.'
REFERENCE: Alvin Langdon Coburn, More Men of Mark, 1922.