I mentioned in one of my earlier posts how in searching for poetry that is good and great, it is wise to look for poems rather than authors who live up to these standards. This is important to remember when looking at the poetry of great poets. Those who are famous in the world’s eyes, are not necessarily acceptable for Christians, and we should be cautious to read their works with discernment.
That being said, many of these same poets have written some poems which are perfectly harmless and even edifying to the Christian reader. Wordsworth’s Daffodils is a good example of this.
The poem describes the familiar sight of daffodils in springtime, but in a fresh, bright way, and with language that makes a common sight something rare and remarkable. The metre is easy, and a little bit playful—perfectly suited to the subject of the poem. The pleasant flow makes it a good poem to recite aloud, and also for memorization in a homeschool scenario, especially if some of the more complicated words and concepts are discussed with the child.
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.
It is the sort of poem which leaves you satisfied, if a little pensive, and with the verses still dancing in your head, like the daffodils themselves, twinkling and fluttering in the breeze . . . a poem which like its subject will come back to you in leisure hours, and refresh you with its elegant simplicity.
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