It’s arguably the most famous poem in the English language, and its first few lines are universally recognised. William Wordsworth’s Daffodils was published 200 years ago, and celebrations will be held all year at the house where he lived then, Rydal Mount, near Ambleside in the Lake District.
Visitors will flock to the house and gardens in March to see the display of daffodils there, in Dora’s field, flowers planted by the poet on the death of his daughter some years later. The actual daffodils that inspired him were the wild ones near the shore of Ullswater.
But what are your favourite poems about flowers? Here’s our top ten, starting with Daffodils, of course.
1: Daffodils: 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.
2: Ah Sunflower: William Blake
3: Red red rose: Robert Burns
4:The flowers: Robert Louis Stevenson
5: Flower gathering: Robert Frost
6: The Lotus: Li Bai
7: Flowers: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
8: Mayflower: Emily Dickinson
9: To the small celandine: Wiliiam Wordsworth
10: A tulip garden: Amy Lowell