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Last week, I took a virtual visit to Loughcrew Cairns in Ireland to see the solar alignment with the spring equinox. Tina reviewed two books, A Place Like Home by Rosamunde Pilcher and The Dilemma by B. A. Paris.
Daffodils are blooming in my yard and neighborhood. They inspired me to do three things: read the poem that William Wordsworth wrote about daffodils, read the journal entry that Dorothy Wordsworth wrote about the day that led to that poem, and visit Shaw Nature Reserve to see their daffodils.
Here’s the poem by William Wordsworth, English Romantic poet:
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 be but 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.
There are numerous examples of William relying on his sister’s skills as a diarist for his poems. In this case, she recorded the day, April 15, 1802, that the two of them encountered daffodils by one of the lakes in the Lake District of England.
When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up – But as we went along there were more and yet more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway – We rested again and again. The Bays were stormy and we heard the waves at different distances and in the middle of the water like the Sea.
The daffodils at Shaw Nature Reserve were planted near a lake, so I was inspired to approximate something like what William and Dorothy saw 218 years ago.
Are you dancing with daffodils this spring?