Wordworth’s Daffodils

William Wordsworth immortalized the daffodil through his poetry. This time of year, Wordsworth's daffodils are blooming.

a bouquet of daffodils

Photo: xerones

A bouquet of daffodils.

Daffodils, which belong to the genus Narcissus, were immortalized by William Wordsworth, and at this time each year it is fitting that we should read his poem about them. To hear it, is to see them, in our mind’s eye.

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 the 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 as gay

In such a jocund company:

I gazed-and gazed-but little thought

What wealth the show in 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.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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