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Yesterday I lighted upon a poem I hadn’t read in a long time. I must have scanned ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ a hundred times for my A-Level English Literature course, but I hadn’t revisited it since. Strangely, though, I feel as if the words have grown on me like a rash during the absence and now feel as if I understand it more. I used to pride myself on never noticing the weather; it always seemed to me a boring, unimaginative and ultimately clichéd thing to talk about, something I would only consider bringing up with an awkward acquaintance if all else failed. But now, whether I have softened or been enlightened in some way, I have a greater appreciation for the turning of the seasons, so I went out with my camera to attempt to capture what Wordsworth saw some two hundred years ago. I reproduce his poem below, an ode to spring in a far greater and more beautiful simplicity of language than I could ever hope to achieve.

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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 hought

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, 1804.

 

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