Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One of my favorite poems


"Daffodils" (1804)

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)

When I saw a huge spread of daffodils on a hillside in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, I thought of, and appreciated, this poem. My heart actually did leap up with joy, at least for the moment, as prescribed by the poet.

I must admit that they do not flash upon my inward eye in solitude. I am always deflected by thoughts of what's for dinner, or the need to pay some bills.

Still, it's a very suitable poem for National Poetry Day, this April.

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