Monday, April 7, 2008

William's Daffodils

Today is William Wordsworth's birthday. Born in 1770 in England, he was buddies with another influential poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (he of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" fame).

Here is one of his poems you are sure to know:

The Daffodils

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.

Now, here is a challenge: write a poem that has the word "daffodil" somewhere in it. The poem can be as short as a haiku or as long as, well, Wordsworth's poem.

Submit it to me by April 13 via e-mail and I will publish it (anonymously or with full credit, whichever you prefer). I will write a poem, too, and publish it as well. Depending on the collection of poems I receive, I will begin publishing them April 14.

All those who submit poems will receive a book of poetry for their efforts.

I look forward to receiving your poems!

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