Dear Readers, I photographed these daffodils in the East Finchley Station garden last year, and they cheered me up so much that I wanted to share them again on this (at the moment) rather damp and gloomy March day. Seeing daffodils always reminds me of my Mum, who had lots of poems off by heart, including this one by Wordsworth. It’s so popular that it’s almost a cliché, and yet there is something quite profound about it – nature can bring such solace and astonishment, and there’s nothing better, in my experience, for raising one’s mood.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
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.
A lovely look back. I remember learning that poem in primary school 🙂
Solace and astonishment: spot on.
Daffodils always make me think of my mum, just as they make you think of yours. Mum loved all kinds of flowers, but she loved daffodils most of all, and on Mother’s Day two years ago, I brought her a large bunch of three different varieties, grown at a local farm, much to her delight. She died unexpectedly a week later, when the daffodils were still in bloom.
Now they’re here again, filling the fields and hedges close to my parents’ grave. I’m
surprised the sight of them doesn’t make me sad, as Mum isn’t here to enjoy them – but instead they brighten my days, as I think of her. I thought I knew I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, but I read it today as if for the first time. It’s going to be the next poem I learn by heart. Thank you for featuring it.
You’re welcome Liz – I remember that your Mum loved flowers. There’s a bittersweetness to remembering the people we loved through the things that meant a lot to them. And hooray for learning poetry by heart – it can be such a solace.