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Friday, March 17, 2006

Reliving daffodils

I still remember that it was fourth grade that I heard this poem for the first time. My school teacher had asked me to read as a 'speaking contest' entry and I ended up winning. Daffodils. It has stuck to me ever since. There are days like today when I suddenly wake up in the morning and relive the last few lines of the poem

And oft when on my couch I lie
in vacant or in pensive mood
they flash upon the inward eye
which is the bliss of solitude
and then my heart with pleasure fills
and dances with the daffodils.

Wordsworth didnt have to say something to the order of what Keat's might have written, if he were to write about daffodils. Bu keats was more a poet who wrote about the human subject. The Nigthingale of course is an exception. (among others but my reading of Keats isnt extensive)

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty
that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know"

He just needed to describe what the daffodils were like:

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.

He gives the flower an attitude. A sense of pride sprung up as they threw up their heads in a sprightly dance. What do you see if you try reading between the lines? Do you think Wordsworth had something more to say than simply talk about Daffodils? I have tried and tried but in vain. He unfortunately seems to have had not too much on his mind.

Again he didnt have to write something like what Keat's wrote:

Thou still unravished bride of quietness
thou foster child of silence and slow time

and still inspite of all this, Daffodils is a joy to read. I have now been reading it for something like ten years and my heart still jumps with joy when I read the last few lines. To me its as if the entire poem was written just to write them.

Here's to daffodils. After looking at the poem in pieces, here's a more wholesome version!

The Daffodils

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 leaves 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.


  • well if u r trying to read between lines u miss out the main part...
    the joy in the poem.
    i think its just abt how u find beauty if u care to look at it...
    simple things=happiness.
    its abt enjoying the journey called life. thats how i see it.

    By Blogger nishwish, at 10:24 PM  

  • wordsworth's poems reaffirm our belief in " its difficult to be simple"

    By Blogger nishwish, at 10:25 PM  

  • Perhaps. Yes it is hard to be simple I guess. Its hard to be uncomplicated :-)

    By Blogger Kaushik, at 11:27 PM  

  • 60 years ago, in grade four I too learned to recite this poem and have never forgotten some of it. It was a treat to re-visit those words.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:16 PM  

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