Sunday Night Journal, January 7, 2018
Sunday Night Journal, January 14, 2018

52 Poems, Week 2: I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud (Wordsworth)

This is the first poem that came to mind when Mac brought up the idea of 52 Poems before the group. It is silly, of course. Romantic poetry always seems a little silly. Nevertheless, it is the one poem, perhaps along with "Ode on a Grecian Urn," which I have never forgotten from a poetry course I took in college. Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley …. these are the guys I think of when I think of poetry. I suppose I need this year of poems to break me of this to some degree. Meanwhile, I still find that the last stanza of this poem is quite sublime, and I certainly feel that way about nature in general, very much in preference to the city life that I live most of the time.

*

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.

*

--Stu Moore spends more time than he should in a vacant or pensive mood.

Comments

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I had a Wordsworth pop into my mind as well, but a different one. He's arguably my favorite poet though, and I like this one too. I used it in an undergrad paper I wrote on the idea of solitude in Wordsworth.

For the record I don't find it silly. I think, rather, that our sensibilities have coarsened.

You're certainly right, Rob. I love this poem. The course I took was on Romantic English Poetry, so all of these poets are my favorites; Lord Byron, S.T. Coleridge, et al. But I think Wordsworth the best!

I don't like the other Romantics nearly as much, but for me John Clare (1793-1864) is right up there with WW, and in fact I like him better in some ways. I only discovered him in the past couple years, via Ronald Blythe.

WW is definitely not my favorite, though I do like his best work. Keats is my guy among the Romantics. I don't know Clare's work.

The Botanical Gardens here have an area with thousands of daffodils, and it is truly lovely. We usually get a bunch in the small wood by our house about this time of year, but I haven't seen anything so far. They come even in the snow, but maybe it's just been too cold.

AMDG

This is a poem that I like as well, especially the last stanza.

I don't think I've ever seen anything like that quantity. Sounds wonderful.

I'm glad Stu posted this because maybe I'll remember to go this year.

AMDG

Just found two interesting things on the Wordsworth Trust website. One is that it was his wife who wrote the lines "They flash upon that inward eye / Which is the bliss of solitude", and the other is that "I wandered lonely as a cloud" was parodied in a Heineken ad in the UK in the 1980s; it starts with him writing the first line as "I walked about a bit on my own..."

this is my favourite advertizement parody - it is a piece of opera, not a poem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvrFcpeZQ2g

Part of a series of ice cream adverts that was in turn parodied by a beer advert.

Those are all funny, but what really caught my interest is the woman who steals the beer in the last one. Who is she? Last night my wife and I were watching The Force Awakens (preparatory to going to see The Last Jedi soon, I hope). There's a scene toward the end where the Evils are preparing their new & improved Death Star, and for just a few seconds the camera focuses on one woman who gives some kind of status report. We both said "Who is she?" We've seen her in something else, most likely a British murder mystery. But we couldn't place her. Now today I see her again in that commercial...at least I think it's the same person....

She was Caroline Bingley in the A&E Pride and Prejudice.

AMDG

I don't think she was in The Force Awakens though.

AMDG

Yeah, it's not the same person. That is Anna Chancellor, whose filmography lists several things I've seen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Chancellor

I believe the one in Force Awakens is Kate Fleetwood, who also has been in several things I've seen. There's not a real close resemblance, but there's a rough one, and I guess I just recognize them both without being able to place them.

I can see the resemblance.

I really liked The Last Jedi.

AMDG

Thats a funny beer ad! I never sawthat one

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