Wood nymphs, daffodils and echoes

golden daffodils

It’s actually been a Spring like day today!  A bit breezy, but sunshine non the less.  The sun always makes me feel better and more light-hearted.  So light-hearted, in fact that I wrote three  Haiku poems about Spring, plants, even daffodils! (here). 

Here is the Master  Lakes poet himself with a beautiful poem that is now world-famous:-

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 leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but 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.

William Wordsworth

How gentle and lovely!  I enjoy recollecting this poem probably as much as the author who had the original experience – (some of it imagined).  Wordsworth (b. 1770 – 1850) lived in the Lake District most of his life and wrote this poem in 1804. 

Lake Ullswater


At school, we always knew this poem as ‘Daffodils by Ullswater’  but it was originally published as ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ until he changed it in 1807 to just ‘Daffodils’  The poet wrote this poem in 1804  when taking a walk with his wife  near Lake Ullswater.  The sight of the delightful daffodils  ‘tossing their heads in sprightly dance’ remained vibrant in the poet’s memory and gave vent to his imagination on that blustery, stormy day.

Echo and Narcissus by John William Waterhouse

Talking of daffodils, I can’t resist putting one of my favorite paintings in this post.  I used to have this in poster form and I had it in my home for years.  The painting is called ‘Echo and Narcissus’ painted 1903 by John William Waterhouse who was associated with the Pre Raphaelites (and it shows). 

The painting tells the classical tale of the beautiful youth Narcissus falling in love with his own reflection.  Poor chatterbox Echo, cursed by  Juno so that she can only echo the words of others. fell in love with him.  But this love was not to be.  Narcissus in love with his own reflection pined away through love of  himself.  All that was left was the flower, which the God’s named Narcissus, after the beautiful youth.



The story of Echo and Narcissus here

William Wordsworth info here

Inspirational Cumbria haunts of Wordworth

12 thoughts on “Wood nymphs, daffodils and echoes

  1. Your sentiments for spring ring true for the day in Melbourne although we are heading the other way into winter so the edge of coolness is tipping into the air rather than out of it on your side of the world. A lovely poem to break to mid-working day.

  2. It wasn’t long ago we had snow though and it was quite cold last night. I don’t know what’s happened to our seasons really – they seem to cross over into each other.
    How daft am I? I never realised that it would be Winter in Australia Kimberly. Hope it’s not a bad one. Thanks for visting, it is appreciated.

  3. Glad to hear the weather is wonderful; here too. I see you getting into haiku on your other site 🙂 I applaud and look forward to new ones.

    Studying Wordsworth years ago seemed magical to me. Such amazing reflections, and I don’t mean to sound like Narcissus lol. Thank you for reminding me of both the good and the bad of being a poet.

  4. Thanks for your encouragement Dustus! That Haiku is not as easy as it looks is it – enjoyed doing it though. He wasn’t a bad old stick old Wordsworth, he’s such an inspiration to all. When I think about famous poems, I always think ‘daffodils. I’m going to be featuring some more classical poetry in the future on here. Thanks for commenting – appreciated

  5. I’ve just read it – very funny indeed! I wish I had found your blog earlier. I also wish that I had joined the 100 days thing (my resolution is to blog every day, which I’ve kept to – missed 4 days last year)
    Looking forward to reading your other days. Thanks for visiting!

  6. I simply adore Waterhouse. Among my personal favorites are the Ophelias and My Sweet Rose. Might seem kitsch from a postmodern perspective, but I’ll have these over some c**p like Pietro Manzoni or Habacuc any day of the week. What do you think about D.G. Rossetti? His Mona Vana is beyond awesome…

  7. You have sumptuous taste Jadepaloma! I love the Pre Raphaelites and particularly Rossetti – a passionate and awkward character. I also love the poetry of his sister Christina – I must put some of her poems on here. DG Rossetti Monna Vanna I think has quite a contemporary feel – a real Venus in furs lol! I love that whole period of painting. Thanks for stopping by – appreciated!
    Waterhouse I think was a bit underestimated – a fine painter!

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