Poetry / The English Teacher / The Social Network

Daffodils

Oh, friends! I have had a ‘Signs of Spring Sighting’! In the last 24 hours, the grass has greened. (It always feels like a miracle, though I know that it’s the natural order of things.) In the last 12 hours, I’ve been noticing the jonquils & daffodils. By the way, which IS it? Are these the same flower? Or are they different, though highly similar? I have no idea, and have not a single one of these early spring beauties planted in my yard, but other people (maybe they love Spring more?) do, and I am thankful.

One of my favorite periods in literary history is the Romantic Age. Hear me out. It’s not, as some mistakenly think, about love and relationships (although of course, as we are relational beings, sometimes relationships show up). The Romantics valued emotion as a valid interpretation of experience. The Romantics asserted the superiority and ultimate singularity of the natural world. While much of the worldview might fall apart, the literature astonishes. Especially the poetry. (surprise!) Exhibit A: I give you William Wordsworth. His “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is sometimes called ‘Daffodils.’ It’s Romantic. And, in honor of the poet, the period, and the lovely flowers lifting their heads to the sun in a spring-time dance, I share it here:

I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud

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.

 

Ahhhhhhh…… Spring. Do your own  ‘happy‘ dance.

 

 

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