Monday 5 April 2010


A couple of months ago, a friend and I met for lunch at one of the many garden centres around Derby. Afterwards, we browsed the bookshop and came across a book with an amusing title. I can't remember it exactly, but the gist was that the book was full of poems which we had probably learned at school and believed we knew, but, if challenged, would struggle to recite past the first verse?

This particular poem has to be one of the most famous English poems ever written, and seemed very appropriate for Easter Monday. I managed about half of verse two, with the odd snippet from three and four. Shameful! :(

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 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.

by William Wordsworth (Published in Collected Poems, 1815)

But did you know that this was actually Wordsworths second stab at this particular poem? His first version, written in 1804 and published in 1807, has only three stanzas. Verse two is omitted completely, while 1, 3 and 4 have subtle changes.

The poem was inspired by an entry in the journal of his sister Dorothy, after they had taken a walk along the shores of Ullswater in the spring sunshine; a lake which, I suspect, is going to become more familiar to me over the next three years, as my eldest son is hoping to attend the University of Cumbria, based in Penrith - Ullswater being the closest of the lakes at about 8 miles from campus.

A baggage-ferrying, round-trip of 320 miles has to have some compensations! :)

Belated PS: I find it fascinating when other blogs which I follow have similar themes or particular references which link with what I also have blogged. It's over a week since I decided to write about daffodils on Easter Monday, and today, there is a quote from Wordsworth's poem on this blog: , which I thoroughly enjoy reading daily!  Do take a peek.


  1. You know what they say about great minds...! Thanks for the link.

  2. I'm glad he took another go at writing the resulted in much more lovely and heartfelt lines I think :)

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me know about your Easter Monday post, featuring the poem as well. It really is a timeless piece! Love the picture of your daffodils! Plus I enjoyed reading about how Wordsworth came to write the poem. Thanks again, and have a good weekend!