This pensive picture of an older man doesn't quite gibe with the image of a younger man walking the English fields on a spring day when a field of wind-blown daffodils lifts his poetic spirit and he writes the popular -- to the point of trite -- poem most of us learned ages and ages ago. He was younger, as we all were, maybe he was even called Bill or Billie although that seems extremely impolite -- after all that was a different time, long before we could comfortably have a poet laureate in the United States called Billie (Collins-- see yesterday's post).
It's a daffodil kind of day here -- although our daffodils aren't open yet. The sun is very bright and spring promise is in the air. As I imagine most people did, I read his Daffodils in school. I was enchanted because I had seen plenty of fields of wheat and growing corn waving in the breeze, even some hay fields liberally sprinkled with yellow mustard plant, I had never seen a field of flowers. I was thrilled to see a sparse forest at Hampton Court completely under-carpeted with daffodils on a springtime vacation and immediately remembered the beginning of this poem. Later I saw fields of Texas blue bonnets and thought of this poem too. Even when we don't read much poetry, words arranged gracefully with meter have an almost magical way of staying in the memory. Below is just the first two stanzas.
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.