Tag Archives: Daffodils

Wordsworth returns to the Lakes

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Christopher Wordsworth, pictured, the great great great great grandson of William Wordsworth, is heading to the Lake District at the end of this month to recite the poem published by his ancestor 200 years ago. Christopher will recite Daffodils in the grounds of Rydal Mount, the home of William and his family for most of his life, and from where Daffodils was published. His audience will be the finalists in the Wordsworth Young Poets award who have been invited to a prizegiving ceremony on March 31. Christopher will announce the winner.

Rydal Mount, near Ambleside, is still owned by the Wordsworth family but is open to the public.

Exhibition tribute to Wordsworth’s Daffodils

A major exhibition by a Japanese artist will be staged in the Lake District to mark the 200th anniversary of William Wordsworth’s Daffodils, said to be the world’s most famous poem.

The work of Hideyuki Sobue on the theme of “I wandered” will be shown at Rydal Mount, the house near Ambleside where Wordsworth lived for most of his life, and from where he published the definitive version of the poem that begins with those words.

The exhibition will open on April 11, following a private reception at Rydal Mount, still owned by the poet’s descendants. The poet Gary Boswell will read some of his own work written in tribute to Wordsworth. The exhibition will run for two months.

Hideyuki, who now lives in the Lake District, is a great admirer of Wordsworth’s work. He and Gary Boswell worked together on a collaborative project at Rydal Mount ten years ago, in an attempt “to trace back to the poet’s spirituality and creativity from the perspective of our contemporary society”. The new exhibition takes the Daffodils poem and the opening words “I wandered” as its inspiration.

Hideyuki was born in Japan and brought up in a children’s home for orphans. He studied art at Osaka University and then moved to England and was elected a member of the Lakes Artists Society in 2008. He has had exhibitions in London and throughout the UK.

Award-winning poet, journalist and writer Gary Boswell has held a number of “writer in residences” and was poet in residence for the 2010 World Cup.

Daffodils has captured the hearts of poetry lovers across the world. It has been recited simultaneously by 150,000 schoolchildren, won an American TV talent show when read by a young contestant, and translated into many languages. A version in Chinese calligraphy written on a six-foot high scroll was presented to Rydal Mount recently by a lecturer at Shandong Jiaotong University in China.

The poem was set to music in a song, I wandered lonely as a cloud, recorded by American folk glitter queen Judy Polan in 1996, and performed at Rydal Mount when she visited England.

The Wordsworth family hopes that the anniversary will rekindle interest in what they call “this wonderful poem”.

The poet’s great great great great grandson Christopher Wordsworth said of the appeal of Daffodils: “The poem has deceptively simple language which delivers a profound message.”

Meanwhile, schoolchildren across Cumbria have been writing poems of their own on the theme “I wandered” and their efforts will be judged by the Wordsworth family. The annual Wordsworth Young Poet award will be made at the end of March.

The inspiration for the poem came from a walk Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy took through the woods beyond Gowbarrow at Ullswater and came across a “belt” of wild daffodils blowing in the wind from the lake.

Rydal Mount is still owned by the Wordsworth family and open to visitors daily, with limited opening hours in winter. http://www.rydalmount.co.uk/opening/

The house is a treasure trove of Wordsworth memorabilia. The gardens are being restored according to plans made by the poet. Below the house is Dora’s Field , which Wordsworth planted with daffodils in memory of his eldest daughter, who died from tuberculosis in 1847.

Wordsworth wrote several earlier versions of Daffodils but the version we know today is this final one published in 1815.

Literary lunch at the Old Stamp House to mark Wordsworth anniversary

A literary lunch is to be held in Ambleside to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of William Wordsworth’s Daffodils, one of the world’s most famous poems.

The celebration will be at the award-winning Old Stamp House restaurant, which is based in the building where the poet once worked as a civil servant.

The guest speaker is the eminent historian and literary biographer, Juliet Barker, who has published two books about Wordsworth.

The event, on Wednesday April 22 – the day before the anniversary of Wordsworth’s death – has been organised by Peter and Marian Elkington, the curators of Rydal Mount, the house near Ambleside where the poet lived for 37 years, and from where he published the final and definitive version of Daffodils in 1815.

Chef Ryan Blackburn, an admirer of Wordsworth’s work, is creating a Cumbrian-themed three course meal for the occasion. It is hoped that literary lunches hosted by Rydal Mount at the Old Stamp House might become regular events.

Bookings for the lunch, which costs £22.50 for three courses with coffee, should be made directly to the restaurant by calling 015394 32775. Numbers are strictly limited and early booking is advisable.

The Old Stamp House is where Wordsworth worked as the Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland, from 1813, the year that he and his family moved to Rydal Mount, until he started to earn enough money from his writing.

Peter Elkington said: “We are thrilled that Juliet Barker is joining us for this very special celebration. She will talk about Wordsworth’s life and work, and no one is better placed to reveal the elusive private man behind the public image.”

Daffodils has captured the hearts of poetry lovers across the world. It has been recited simultaneously by 150,000 schoolchildren, won an American TV talent show when read by a young contestant, and translated into many languages. A version in Chinese calligraphy written on a six-foot high scroll was presented to Rydal Mount recently by a lecturer at Shandong Jiaotong University in China.

The poem was set to music in a song, I wandered lonely as a cloud, recorded by American folk glitter queen Judy Polan in 1996.

The poet’s great great great great grandson Christopher Wordsworth said of the appeal of Daffodils: “The poem has deceptively simple language which delivers a profound message.”

The inspiration for the poem came from a walk Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy took through the woods beyond Gowbarrow at Ullswater and came across a “belt” of wild daffodils blowing in the wind from the lake.

Rydal Mount is still owned by the Wordsworth family and open to visitors daily. The house is a treasure trove of Wordsworth memorabilia. The gardens are being restored according to plans made by the poet. Below the house is Dora’s Field , which Wordsworth planted with daffodils in memory of his eldest daughter, who died from tuberculosis in 1847.

Juliet Barker is the author of Wordsworth, A Life (2000) and Wordsworth, A Life in Letters (2002). She lives in Yorkshire, and is a former curator and librarian of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, and author of a number of books about the Brontes.

The Old Stamp House was launched last year by Ryan Blackburn, formerly of Holbeck Ghyll and The Cottage in the Wood, and a Cumbrian Chef of the Year winner. He and his brother Craig source local ingredients from top Cumbrian suppliers.

  • Wordsworth wrote several earlier versions of Daffodils but the version we know today is this final one published in 1815.

http://www.rydalmount.co.uk/opening/

 

Daffodils, and the top ten flower poems

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

 

 

 

 

Entries open for Wordsworth Young Poet award

 Schools throughout Cumbria are invited to submit entries from their pupils for the Wordsworth prize in this 200th anniversary year of the publication of Daffodils. Details of how to enter can be found below.

The Rydal Mount Wordsworth prize for young poets

Dear Head Teacher

The descendants of William Wordsworth invite entries from your pupils for the annual Rydal Mount Wordsworth prize for young poets.All students at Cumbrian schools are eligible to take part. This is a special year to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Wordsworth’s poem, Daffodils.

Entries should be typed in 12 or 14 point font, double spaced, and no longer than one side of A4 paper. The poem’s theme must be “I wandered…”.

Entries should include the name and age of the entrant, and the contact details of the student’s school. The closing date for entries is Friday Feb 13, 2015.

The poems will be judged by the Wordsworth family and an award ceremony will be held at Rydal Mount, near Ambleside, on Tuesday March 31. A trophy will be awarded, along with a cash prize of £50, to the overall winner.  The winner’s name will be added to the plaque on the wall at Rydal Mount. There will be signed book prizes age group winners.

Please send entries to

Poetry Competition

Rydal Mount, Ambleside, LA22 9LU

For further information please call Eileen Jones at Cumbria PR

on 015394 33931, or email eileen@cumbriapr.co.uk

 

Celebrations and a poetry contest for two centuries of Daffodils

Plans are under way to celebrate a literary landmark in the Lake District next spring.

April sees the 200th anniversary of the publication of William Wordsworth’s Daffodils, arguably the most famous poem in the English-speaking world.

Rydal Mount, the house where Wordsworth lived when he published the definitive version of the poem, will be the focus of a number of events to mark the occasion. There will be a special theme for the annual Wordsworth prize for young poets, open to all schoolchildren in Cumbria. And there will be a literary lunch at the Old Stamp House restaurant in Ambleside, the building where Wordsworth was working as a civil servant back in 1815.

The curators of Rydal Mount, Peter and Marian Elkington, will also host an anniversary celebration at the house.

“The poem is loved throughout the world,” said Peter Elkington. “Our overseas visitors, particularly from Japan and America, know it off by heart. They love the English Romantic poets.”

Rydal Mount was presented recently by a decorative scroll, more than two metres long, inscribed with Daffodils written in Chinese calligraphy and brought to the Lakes by a lecturer at Shandong Jiaotong University in Jinan.

The poetry competition for young people will be launched in the new year but all schools in Cumbria are being alerted to prepare their young writers. The poems this time will be on the theme: “I wandered….”

Last year’s winner was 15 year old Heidi Ostell, a pupil at Trinity High School in Carlisle. Her poem, Leviathan of the Forest,  was judged to be the best from more than 100 entries from school pupils across Cumbria by descendants of the poet William Wordsworth.

At the award ceremony at Rydal Mount near Ambleside, which was the poet’s home for most of his life, his great-great-great-great-grandson Christopher Wordsworth presented Heidi with a trophy and a £50 cash prize.

Her name is now the first on a plaque which will be permanently displayed at Rydal Mount as the poetry contest becomes an annual event. And her poem has been framed and hung on the wall for visitors to read.