Thursday, March 16, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Wordsworth

Photograph: From our private collection


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

~William Wordsworth~

William Wordsworth, celebrated British poet and England's poet laureate in 1843, was orphaned by age 13 and was largely disinterested in academics. His friendship with Samuel Coleridge, in conjunction with a financial grant bestowed him at a friend's death, marked the beginning of his devotion to poetry. Around 1791 Wordsworth traveled to France and met a woman with whom he had an illegitimate daughter. He supported this child financially though he returned to England in 1792 and later married his childhood friend, fathering 5 children. By the end of his life Wordsworth, the most celebrated poet in the world, was considered primary to the English Romantic movement, characterized by writing which focused largely on relationships with nature.

Wordsworth is buried with his wife, who died 9 years later, at Grasmere churchyard, in Grasmere, Cumbria, the northernmost village in the Lake district of England.
Wordsworth wrote "Daffodils" in 1804, the first poem I remember memorizing as a young student.


liz elayne said...

Oh I knew if i stayed up late enough you would post a poem. and here you did.
jon (the husband) and millie (the golden) are sleeping so i can't read this aloud (today i am reading all the poetry aloud - it just makes my heart so happy to do so)...but tomorrow, i am going to visit again and read this out loud to all the flowers blooming around me.

GreenishLady said...

Thank you for a reminder of such an old favourite. It's a real treat to read the whole poem, not just to rhyme off the first few lines. ...

Endment said...

The poem is timely.
The pictures draw me into spring -- the little green shoots are just poking through here...

I appreciate the information about Wordsworth

I am with Liz elayne i want to read the poems aloud to encourage all the flowers

rdl said...

very nice - i noticed when we got back that the daffs were on they're way up - there is an end in sight.

MB said...

are yours coming up, sky??

Sky said...

Liz - sounds like a good plan to me. I love to read poetry aloud, too. I have started reading it to my hubby - as a way of sharing, but I also can hear the music better that way. Your blog has been unavailable to me for hours! I tried to visit last night and today and have been unable to access it.

greenishlady - yes, I agree. It has been a while since I read it, too.

endment - yes, spring is springing here, too!

rdl - chilly here in the mornings, but I can feel the difference!

MB - yesssss, ours are coming up! we have about 15 or so in full bloom now and more will open each day now. :))

Alexandra S said...

Daffodils are one of the bright spots of my new home- they are in full bloom outside the path to my front door, and I have never appreciated them like I do this year. I've had such a tough two weeks and they are my welcome committee at the moment when I come home! I really enjoyed this poem too. I had never heard of it before.

Mary said...

Ahhh! Daffodils. Its fame is merited, I think.

It is piercingly cold and grey here but the daffodils are beginning to flutter and dance, albeit in a strong icy wind rather than a gentle breeze ...

Rexroth's Daughter said...

This may be the first poem I ever loved. How delightful to find it here. Our daffodils are up and in bud. A few days of warm sun, and they will open and dance.

GoGo said...

I'm liking your site. I appreciate reading poetry, either pieces I know or new pieces to explore!

Lorna said...

Lines to warm the heart of someone who woke to find snow blanketing all I could see.

mreddie said...

I came - I read - I enjoyed! ec

Wenda said...

Sky, I like the poems you are choosing, I love the photos you are using to introduce them and I think the poet bios are such a great addition. Thanks for what you do.

Sky said...

alexandra - I am glad to introduce you to the first major poem of my life!

mary - Stay warm! We have family in the UK; isn't that where you are?

RD - I remember learning this poem as a young girl. I loved memorizing poems. Our daffies are opening, too, and so are the hyacinths!

gogo - Thanks! Please come back.

lorna - Awwwww...stay warm in that spring snow!

mreddie - Thanks! Come again.

Wenda - Always good to see you. Thanks, glad you are enjoying these. A little later and I could have used a photo from this year's festival!

Tammy said...

Sky, I loved this poem! Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers. My Daffodils have been snowed and rained on for 18 days. Most have made it! :)

K said...

Sky--thank you for your complimentary and thoughtful comment on my blog--I really like what you are doing with yours!

Boy, I just LOVE Wordsworth. Now there's a man who knew how to spin gold from words...sigh...