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Featured Poem: Daffodils by William Wordsworth

Written by Rachael Norris, 1st February 2021

The first Featured Poem of February is Daffodils by William Wordsworth, is brought to us by The Reader's Hub Leader for Sefton and Wigan, Rachael. The theme for our daily readings in February is 'Close to the Heart' and we hope the poetry, readings and recommendations we have chosen can help us stay connected over the coming weeks.

I don’t think any of us could argue that the weather has been mostly awful lately and opportunities to get outside have consequently been very limited. On a rare nice day recently, I was so grateful to get out and have a look round my garden to see how everything has been coping in the frost and I was cheered to see that the daffodils had sprang up – some life amongst the general dormancy. I find being reminded that things will grow again and at some point the sun will shine a little more often, really helps to weather the literal storms.

It seemed serendipitous to me when I then saw ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ in a nature poetry book I was leafing through the same day. Often colloquially known just as ‘Daffodils’, it’s such a classic that I’m guilty of being almost too familiar with it and not stopping to take it in, but given my garden-experience and also our lockdown situation, I decided to stop and stay with it. I often feel that I am wandering lonely as a cloud these days, on my sixteenth walk around the block of the week! I am really looking forward to the not-too-far-off days when I’ll see a beautiful field of golden daffodils fluttering and dancing in the breeze in front of me.

I hope this poem will bring you comfort and a bit of hope, as it did for me.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

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.

William Wordsworth

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