In this installment, Charles North reads “The Daffodils” by William Wordsworth. North is poet-in-residence at Pace University in Manhattan. In addition to receiving four awards from the Fund for Poetry, he is a two-time winner of the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. His books include: Six Buildings (Swollen Magpie Press 1977), Leap Year, Poems 1968-1978 (Kulchur 1978), Year of the Olive Oil (Hanging Loose Press 1989), No Other Way: Poets, Critics, and Painters (Hanging Loose Press 1998), New and Selected Poems (Sun and Moon Press, 1999), and The Nearness of the Way You Look Tonight (Adventures in Poetry 2001), among others.
William Wordsworth, "The Daffodils"
I WANDER'D 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 stretch'd 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
Outdid 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.