Archive for greek myth

Wood nymphs, daffodils and echoes

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, HISTORY, HOME, POETRY with tags , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by echostains

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.

PS 

 

The story of Echo and Narcissus here

William Wordsworth info here

Inspirational Cumbria haunts of Wordworth

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