D. H. Lawrence's "Baby Running Barefoot," is written in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet consisting of three open quatrains and a couplet, rhyming ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Although the underlying meter is iambic pentameter, there are many metrical substitutions in the poem, with lines of varying length and rhythm.
The poem is spoken in the voice of a first person narrator who is watching a female baby run across the grass. The narrator uses similes and metaphors that describe the baby's feet by comparing them to aspects of the natural world such as butterflies, flowers, and water.
The narrator wishes the the baby would run over to him and stand on his knee so that he could "feel her feet in either hand." The major theme of the poem is the association of infancy with innocence and the natural world and the narrator's desire to recapture both. The narrator's desire to feel the baby's feet, despite its rather disconcerting sense of pedophilia married to podophilia, should be read as a desire to return to the state of nature the baby represents.