Dancing with the Daffodils

I welcomed April by visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on a cool, sunny day. Nature then blessed me with the gift of daffodils.

My friends and I were cutting across from the Native Flora Garden towards the Shakespeare Garden when we came upon Daffodil Hill. To our exhilaration, the hill was covered by white, yellow, and orange flowers. We walked around the hill, contemplating the trumpet daffodils in wonder.

Mr. Deb, a former teacher of English literature in Chittagong, Bangladesh, remembered a poem entitled “Daffodils” by the great Romantic poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850). lover of literature, my Bangladeshi friend was so moved by the convergence of poetry and nature, art and life, that I knew I would have to read the poem. Since then, I indeed have read it aloud many times, trying to capture its rhythms, melodies, and subtle delights.

I have relished the memory of the daffodils along with the music and dance of Wordsworth’s verses. I share the poem below, along with pictures of the lovely daffodils that we saw, resplendent in the early April light.

Daffodils 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.
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. 

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