Two Wordsworths and Daffodils #Poetry #Diary #BriFri — 9 Comments

  1. How I love daffodils. My grandmother was of Welsh descendants & we always planted daffodils in her yard as well as our home borders around the house. This was in Pennsylvania & the flowers would never disappoint in Spring time.

  2. It’s wonderful how this poem has endured. This year I found the following poem by Gillian Clarke, who was National Poet of Wales, which I thought is a lovely compliment to it, and which you may also like. St David is Wales’ patron saint, and St David’s Day is March 1st.

    MIRACLE ON ST DAVID’S DAY Gillian Clarke

    An afternoon yellow and open-mouthed
    with daffodils. The sun treads the path
    among cedars and enormous oaks.
    It might be a country house, guests strolling,
    the rumps of gardeners between nursery shrubs.
    I am reading poetry to the insane.

    An old woman, interrupting, offers
    as many buckets of coals as I need.
    A beautiful chestnut-haired boy listens
    entirely absorbed. A schizophrenic
    on a good day, they tell me later.

    In a cage of first March sun a woman
    sits not listening, not seeing, not feeling.
    In her neat clothes, the woman is absent.
    A big mild man is tenderly led
    to his chair. He has never spoken.

    His labourer’s hands on his knees, he rocks
    gently to the rhythms of the poems.
    I read to their presences, absences,
    to the big, dumb labouring man as he rocks.
    He is suddenly standing, silently,
    huge and mild, but I feel afraid. Like slow
    movement of spring water or the first bird
    of the year in the breaking darkness,
    the labourer’s voice recites ‘The Daffodils’.

    The nurses are frozen, alert; the patients
    seem to listen. He is hoarse but word-perfect.
    Outside the daffodils are still as wax,
    a thousand, ten thousand, their syllables
    unspoken, their creams and yellows still.

    Forty years ago, in a Valleys school,
    the class recited poetry by rote.
    Since the dumbness of misery fell
    he has remembered there was a music
    of speech and that once he had something to say.

    When he’s done, before the applause, we observe
    the flowers’ silence. A thrush sings
    and the daffodils are aflame.

  3. Pingback:British #CottageCore #BriFri – Joy's Book Blog

  4. Hi, Joy!
    You know, I am studying a degree in English Literature at the moment, and this post wouldn’t have been appreciated by me before, but it is now, since I’m in the midst of the Romantic period!
    I love the simplicity of the poem, the joy of encountering such amount of flowers, which makes people simply happy.
    Regarding Dorothy, the Norton Anthology of English Literature mentions her, but nothing about her diaries as a source of inspiration for William, so thank you for bringing the excerpt.
    Take care!

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