Daffodils by William Wordsworth (read by Tom O'Bedlam)





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Uploaded on Oct 6, 2009

As Abe Lincoln said, "For those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they like." This is Wordsworth's most famous poem and, in fact, one of the most famous poems in English literature so I can't just ignore it. It has been inflicted on generations of hapless schoolchildren.

A collection of Daffodils is more a "patch" than a "crowd" or a "host" - except if they're in a "never-ending line", when perhaps "row" would be more appropriate. The line will of course not be "never-ending" and it's nowhere near as big as the Milky Way because, man, that's like really humongous: anyway he lost my credulity when he claimed to be able to count ten-thousand at a glance.

I have to mention that daffodils are not golden, they're yellow and they can't dance. The notion that daffodils or waves have human emotions such as glee or jocundity or that clouds can be lonely is called "The Pathetic Fallacy", an expression coined by John Ruskin.

If your heart dances when you're lying on your couch then it's probably atrial fibrillation; not serious in itself but keep a phone in reach and remember to tell your doctor who will arrange an electrocardiogram.

The word "sprightly" is used these days to describe a certain sort of old man. My wife has my permission to stifle me with a pillow if anybody ever calls me "sprightly".

Still, who am I to criticise, if daffodils or this poem fills your heart with pleasure and makes it dance?

Let me give Honest Abe the last word too, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Beats everything Freud said.


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