Here in the English Lake District we have William Wordsworth. He wrote “I wander lonely as a cloud” about his sisters description of the daffodils they found on an April walk. He published two versions of it, actually. Like any good writer he was constantly tinkering with his work.
My first contribution to daffodil literature came in March 2012:
A lonely cloud? In springtime? Over daffodils?
I think not!
All nature bursting
winters bonds and thirsting
for rain. A lone cloud? Oh, no
There’ll be a lot.
Then, in April 2013, there was:
The daffodils in the wood, in the sun, are a lovely sight
So I’m sorry about this Will but, I’m afraid Dorothy was right
I know she was only your sister and sibling rivalry is the rule.
Was that what, when you came to write the poem, made you decide you’ll
not even mention that you were together on that blustery day?
Would she have written it differently if she’d had her say?
But then, when you were writing it, of course, you couldn’t have guessed,
that ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ would turn out to be one of your best.
I even went all misty-eyed – after all April was National Poetry Writing Month:
Ah. Yes! Those were the days, when all the songs were golden
Those big brass bands. Those 78s. Oh yes, the olden
days, the olden days. The front-men stand, the saxes bark.
Sevenths, thirteenths wail on top and underneath the dark
round sound of the trombone, bassoon and double bass
The clarinet flies up above and climbs its high staircase
Hey, Daff! Man. Swing it cool and sweet. Blow that horn! Pure gold!
The music lives, forever young. It’s just me, that’s getting old.
But I have to say that the daffodil poem I like best is Daffodowndilly by A.A. Milne (of Winnie the Pooh fame) who also wrote a very entertaining essay on daffodils in which he confided that they were his favourite flower. Some parts of the Internet place this poem in ‘Now We Are Six’ but it’s in my copy of ‘When We Were Very Young’.
Daffodowndilly by A.A.Milne
She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
“Winter is dead.”