Daffodils

Noma Dumezweni reads Wordsworth’s Daffodils
Today is the spring equinox, when the length of the day and the night are almost equal. As it did at last year’s autumn equinox and the winter solstice, Radio 4 is marking the seasonal shift with a day of poems. Some old, some new, some read by their authors, others by actors.
Hear Noma Dumezweni read one of the best-known poems in the English language; William Wordsworth’s ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’, which is also commonly known as ‘Daffodils’.

The Daffodils
William Wordsworth, 1770 — 1850

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.

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