Archives for posts with tag: British poets

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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 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.

Photo: William Wordsworth’s 1807 manuscript of “Daffodils” (also known as “The Daffodils” and “I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud”), courtesy of The British Library Board.

William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850), along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped usher in English literature’s Romantic Age — defined as a “reaction against the Industrial Revolution” and a movement that “validated strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience.”

Listen to Jeremy Irons recite “Daffodils” at youtube.com.

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LAUGHING SONG

by William Blake

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,

And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;

When the air does laugh with our merry wit,

And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

 

When the meadows laugh with lively green,

And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,

When Mary and Susan and Emily

With their sweet round mouths sing “Ha, ha he!”

 

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,

Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:

Come live, and be merry, and join with me,

To sing the sweet chorus of “Ha, ha, he!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William Blake (1757-1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. For the most part unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now considered one of the greatest poets of all time in any language. As a visual artist, he has been lauded by one art critic as “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Photo: Zsaj, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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“Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.”

W.H. AUDEN

Photo: Poet W.H. Auden (1907-1973) and his cat friend. Critics consider Auden one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.