How nice that some of you enjoyed yesterday's poem - "Daffodils". It was inspired by the sight of a border of daffodils in our garden - all sunny and bright yellow in the sharp spring light of Tuesday morning. I wanted to write a joyful, celebratory poem in honour of those familiar heralds of spring. They remind us about renewal.
Of course it has been done before. I think everyone is familiar with William Wordsworth's "I wandered lonely as a cloud" which was inspired by a walk he took by Ullswater with his sister Dorothy in the springtime of 1802. It is a poem I have read and considered many times. There is a sense in which Wordsworth's poem was not really about daffodils at all but about humanity's relationship with Nature. In the last verse, Wordsworth looks "upon the inward eye" where he finds contentment in his memories of Nature. This was a recurring theme in his work.
|Picture used to accompany yesterday's poem|
In comparison, my poem was far less profound. All I wanted to do was applaud the daffodils and note their welcome return. I had gone out into the garden with a bowl of seeds for the garden birds when I was suddenly captivated by our little border of yellow trumpeters beneath the privet hedge. How healthy and proud they appeared. I went inside for my camera.
It was Shirley who planted the bulbs there a few years back, just behind a clump of ferns which of course remain dormant till the early summer. The daffodils like it there, sheltered from northern winds in a little suntrap and by the time the ferns are pushing through, the daffodils are dying off, their goodness being sucked back into their subterranean bulbs. I suppose it is a symbiotic relationship.
In the poem, I deliberately used the word "fluttering" as a nod to Wordsworth's "Fluttering and dancing in the breeze". Near the end, I echo a joyful line from "Get Happy" famously sung by Judy Garland in the 1950 musical film, "Summer Stock". Popular culture and poetry have an uneasy relationship and I like to play around with that tension by referencing modernity. After all, this isn't 1802.