Friday, April 2, 2010

Daffodils, a poem by William Wordsworth.

Post 458 - William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was born in Cockermouth, Cumberland, part of the scenic region in northwest England known as the Lake District. He was educated at St John's College, Cambridge, and received his B.A. degree in 1791. He received an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in 1838 from Durham University, and the same honor from Oxford University the following year. In 1842, the British government awarded him a civil list pension amounting to £300 a year. With the death of Robert Southey, Wordsworth became the Poet Laureate in 1843. When his daughter, Dora, died in 1847, his production of poetry came to a standstill. Wordsworth's personality and poetry were deeply influenced by his love of nature, especially by the sights and scenes of the Lake District, in which he spent most of his mature life. He believed that, "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility."

I learned to recite this poem as a young boy and it has remained one of my favorites ever since.

Daffodils by William Wordsworth.

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.

Happy Passover or Easter or whatever you're celebrating this week.

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