Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Put a poem in your pocket day report

I informed everyone, did I not, of Put a Poem in Your Pocket Day, April 17? Then you whip it out and have a conversation about it with the people you meet.

I decided to try it. I chose this one:

Daffodils

I WANDER'D 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 stretch'd 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.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

and duly put it in my pocket(book). I was carrying a purse that day--no pocket.

I showed it to my dry cleaner; Ron, the auto repairman; and all the members of the Delaware Symphony Gala committee, but none of them had time to discuss it. The reference librarian at the local public library offered to find me critical literature about the poem, but said she was too busy to have a conversation about Wordsworth.

Some time later, the doorbell rang. I opened it to find two nicely dressed, smiling women, who were as polite and cordial as they could be. They just wanted a few minutes of my time to tell me about the Jehovah's Witnesses. I told them I would be happy to hear all about it, but first I wanted them to read and discuss my poem, which I just happened to have in my pocket(book).

They promised to return when they had more time, and backed carefully down the stoop. When they hit the sidewalk, they broke into a ladylike trot.

Nobody really has time for poetry any more.

1 comment:

dick stanley said...

Aha, the perfect solicitor antidote.