Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Flowers: Daffodils

Potted miniature daffodils from the grocery store!


I wandered lonely as a cloud:
That floats on high over 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

I memorized this classic poem somewhere between 5th and 7th grade, "back in the day" when all students had to recite two hundred lines of poetry each year. I still enjoy the cadence and descriptive words used by the poet and may find myself reciting it in old age when my long term memory is all I have left. The poem has been parodied many times. Agatha Christie's character, Hercule Poirot mocks it in the story Dumb Witness. He accuses the poet of being very depressed and wonders why he didn't write about women or good food. This limerick made me laugh.

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

There once was a poet named Will
Who tramped his way over a hill
And was speechless for hours
Over some stupid flowers
This was years before TV, but still.

Tomorrow is St. David's Day, a Welsh celebration that features daffodils prominently. I wrote about it last year in one of my first Friday Flowers posts. (link)

Happy Leap Day and a Jonquil Weekend to all!

Some other bloggers have been seeing daffodils too. Check Rondi's post and Laura's post


  1. Happy Leap Day to you too. I look forward to getting one of those potted forced bulb baskets every spring.

  2. Happy Leap Year Back! Daffys are so bright and cheery ... a little touch of sunshine out of the gloom of winter!

  3. I love the daffodils--and I notice that you linked to Laura who also wrote about them.
    I too memorized that poem, years and years ago.
    The poem came back to me several years ago when we visited the Lake District in the UK and stood in Wordsworth study!

  4. I really enjoyed reading that poem again - I guess every student memorized it. Your pictures made me long for spring - it's coming - melting today.

  5. Oh I need daffodils sooooo bad, today. Their faces are so filled with cheerful hope.

    You're so lucky to have that poem tucked into long term memory. It's one of my favorites.

  6. Jonquils/Daffodils - still beauty and life of spring. Happy Leap Year, Ruth! I enjoyed the limerick. Made me smile. I like your Daffodil photo :o)

  7. Lynne- I can spare $3 a week for a little pot of spring with my groceries. I had a big basket of forced bulbs last year, but they did't last long. So a small treat each week is better.

    CS- I like them because they are not overpowering in scent like Paperwhites and Hyacinths

    KGMom- My daughter says she and I are going to the Lake District in 2 years ... her treat! It would be great to see the poet's study.

    Jean- When did they stop memorization in school? My girls never had to do it. Not that I liked it at the time, but now I am glad we were made to do it.

    Cathy- They do come up well before the tulips...maybe you will see some in mid-March. (we won't for sure)

    Mary- Thanks. My daffodils got treated at the Photoshop spa with a little artistic brush stroke. ;-)

  8. As you read, I love daffodils, partly because of this poem. My first time in England, I was on a literary tour and we went to this field where Wordsworth saw all the daffodils. It is a glorious sight, let me tell you.

    And yes, I still make my senior English Lit. students memorize this poem =)

  9. Rondi- I am glad someone still encourages memorization. Imagine seeing all those daffodils, presumably growing wild.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.