September 9, 2010
A Poem for the Day: "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by William Wordsworth
Summer is coming to an end, and fall will be here before we know it. Interestingly, over the past few days two of my friends ('Thanks!' Jan and Dixie) each reminded me of a poem written in 1804 by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) that has always been a favorite of mine, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud (also known as Daffodils). I love this poem! It is a 'cup that simply and eloquently overflows with joy' every time I read it. I thought that it might be nice to ease into the coming fall with a sublime memory of the summer we are leaving behind by posting the poem and sharing it with all of you.
I am also featuring a beautiful ceramic tile that was designed by Walter Crane (1845-1915). Crane was an illustrator of books and loved graphic design, and was greatly influenced by the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Crane, an Englishman, very much embraced the "Arts and Crafts" movement that flourished in England between 1880 and about 1910; and, in fact, became the first president of the "Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1887. Crane developed this design for the tile (at upper right) that was then prepared as a glazed ceramic tile by the Pilkington Tile and Pottery Co. Earthenware, and is thought to be circa 1900. If you are interested in the English Arts and Crafts movement, I thoroughly recommend A.S. Byatt's recent novel, The Children's Book (2009). Somehow this tile just reminds me of Wordsworth's beautiful poem. Can you imagine having the back-splash of your kitchen, or the surround of your fireplace made up of this beautiful motif? ['Click' on the image for a larger view of this beautiful tile]
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
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.