4.15.2011

DAFFODIL TIME


Ah yes, daffodil time again. A Slow Love Life reader, Jan Jessup, sent me a photograph from Delaware, and a copy of Wordsworth's poem about "a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils." It is one of those poems I've seen parts of for many years--and may have memorized in grade school. Who could forget "I wandered lonely as a cloud..." But I had not read the poem in its entirety for a while. And so I did--and reprint it below. I was struck by the end. Wordsworth describes the memory of that golden crowd of daffodils flashing "upon that inward eye/which is the bliss of solitude" and sends his heart dancing. This year, I love the thought of the bliss of solitude. What a wonderful way to think about making the best of something, with the inward eye, so many of avoid...being alone.

DAFFODILS

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.


17 comments:

A Life Unhurried said...

Dominique, thank you for sharing this poem. It's my first encounter with it which I shall now keep with me. The daffodils are now nearly gone 'round my area, but the bluebells are making an early appearance. Happy Friday to you! -Grace

Lindsey said...

I adore this poem and its words and those of Tintern Abbey often run through my head. What a beautiful picture, as well. xox

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

That last verse has always been a sort of motto for me. Being born on the same day as Wordsworth, it rings especially true for me.

pamingram said...

love this poem as well - we have a post ( two actually, one for our shorter neighbors and other for those in the five ft. and higher range, nestled in a weeping yaupon holly where our property meets the street and passersby) and i do wish we had had such a wonderful photo to share with the poem when we posted it.. i too love the homage to the bliss of solitude....Wordsworth credited his wife Mary with the lines : "They flash upon that inward eye/Which is the bliss of solitude " and declared that they were the best lines in the poem- psi

Cristina said...

what a gorgeous view!!

pavlova said...

Oh, I remember memorizing this as a child! The photo reminds me of the glorious scene in Dr. Zhivago when the horrid winter is over and the daffodils burst
forth as a sign of spring and renewed hope!

Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors said...

I have never saw this poem before. Thank you for posting it today. The photo is so very lovely.
Ah "the bliss of solitude."

Happy Spring everyone!

Ashling said...

It's been a long time since I read any Worsdworth, and to have this photo and poem together is like a tiny mini-vacation for the soul.

SweetRetreat said...

As the wind once again howls, and snow in the forecast, those daffodils take the sting out of the day. How I remember memorizing this lovely poem. Thank you for putting it back in my head. Especially that lovely lines :

They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;

That much needed hideaway, the inward eye.

Layanee said...

You might want to read a review of Wordsworth's poem on Garden Rant. Quite funny. www.gardenrant.com/

I respect both reviews, yours and Michelle's.

Watercolor said...

I forget other area springs lag behind ours. We are marching into summer in the deep south already. sigh. Enjoy your spring!

Warren said...

Growing up in Delaware I often wondered at the thousands of daffodils some estates planted that hung like pearls around the tree edges. It was SO unexpectedly beautiful. They seemed to go on and on. Such a decadent gift to all of us... Thanks for reminding me.

Dominique said...

I love Garden Rant, can't wait to get there. I'm sure a deep secret part of myself will get a thrill from whatever knots she's tied herself up in over this poem!

Peggy Warner in Exeter RI said...

Dominique,
You must go see this soon...it is incredible and you live nearby...
I don't know the name of the hill but it is in Russells Mills, MA and is overseen by the DNRT(Dartmouth Natural Resource Trust). The bulbs were originally planted in the 1940's by a man whose name I believe was Raymond Petty. He feared we would no longer be able to buy bulbs from Holland because of the war and that he could make a lot of money by planting and selling daffodils.That never came to be but the hill was naturalized into one of the most lovely sites the DNRT takes care of.

Trudy G. said...

I did memorize the first and last stanzas of that poem in school and have loved daffodils since and still can recite those two by memory. Time to memorize the other two stanza.

Beautiful picture and post, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Read this to my eight year old. "Pretty good poem". You think honey?

Xtina said...

I share your love for Daffodils and poems, and the two in one just made me happy! Pretty picture & love your blog thank you :)