#60: On Poetic Inspiration

#60: On Poetic Inspiration

I was recently inspired by three poems. I have included them below so you can perhaps be inspired as well.

The first poem is one of my favorites that I turn to this time of year, “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by William Wordsworth. It speaks to me because of my undying love of daffodils. Springtime in Georgia brings a plethora of daffodils and my heart is cheered each year at the sight of them. I, too, store the image of them in my heart throughout the year and the memory of them brings me cheer.

Each year I promise myself that I will go somewhere special to see them in some spectacular setting, such as the Atlanta Botanical Gardens or Gibbs Gardens. Last spring, I even joined the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to ensure I could go. Sadly, though, each year my life gets a little crazy in March. My hectic schedule combined with the unpredictable Georgia spring weather, which often makes going outdoors an unpleasant experience, always manages to deter me from this goal. This spring was especially crazy and the weather seemed exceptionally cold and again, I missed the window when the daffodils were at their peak.

I had about decided to forego seeing the bulbs altogether, but my membership card kept calling to me, as did two other poems I recently came across. One was “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now” by A. E. Houseman. In the poem he describes how twenty springs had already passed and he possibly has only fifty more springs left to enjoy the cherry trees and he decides he had better go enjoy the trees today before it was too late.

The other poem was one we had read in class, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost. We had read this in connection with “The Great Gatsby” and the kids actually got into it which was really fun. The more we talked about it, the more I was convicted that the gold of the daffodils would soon be faded, along with the bright colors of the tulips that were just beginning to bloom at the botanical gardens and I was choosing to miss it all.

And so, even though my life was still busy and the weather was still cold and rainy, I found a window of time on a Sunday afternoon to take myself to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. And while the daffodils were a little past their peak, they were still beautiful. And while it was still cold outside, the rain had stopped and the grey clouds had created a gorgeous backdrop for the kaleidoscope of colors I found there. I spent a delightful couple hours wandering the gardens and absorbing the sights. I left with my soul feeling nourished and refreshed.

So with the reminders of the poets that life is fleeting and the admonition to be careful not to miss the beauty around us, I encourage you, too, to step back from your craziness and embrace the splendor of spring this year before it passes you by.

Amy- Bradley Hand





I wandered lonely as a cloud
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.

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
by A.E. Houseman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

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