View From The Glen

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

National Poetry Month - Daffodils

April is National Poetry Month. I love poetry. I can forget this for months on end, but something will happen and it will come upon me suddenly that I need it. To read it or write it, just to immerse myself in the flow of words, the quick breath of an emotion, the hint of a moment captured.

To mark it this year, being the fun mom I am, I thought I'd make my kids look at some classics. I'm sure plenty of people don't agree that kids should be made to memorize poetry, and I don't want to spoil their enjoyment of it, but I still made them memorize their favourite parts. I don't think it hurts. And then they can come out with random lines with their future spouses and get the look Andrew gives me when I do that.

I started with Grace. She's not quite 7, she loves the flowers that are just coming up in the garden, and I thought WIlliam Wordsworth's Daffodils was perfect. She has the first verse memorized,

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.

Me: So what do you like about the poem?
Grace: The daffodils. And the stars. I'm going to be a rocket scientist.
Me: Why do you think the poet likes the daffodils?
Grace: Because they're golden, and because they mean spring is here.
Me: Have you ever seen daffodils dance?
Grace: Mom! Flowers don't really dance, you know.
Me: Why do you think the poet thought they were dancing?
Grace: Because he was a rocket scientist looking down from space and he couldn't see them properly.
Me: How does the poem make you feel? How do the daffodils make you feel?
Grace: Happy.
Me: Would you like to dance with daffodils?
Grace: No. I'd like to cut some and put them in a vase.


Julie said...

Was looking at the Cancer Society Daffodil's on my kitchen table the other day and reciting lines from this poem to the dog. Just makes me happy to have the spring flowers in the house. Bright yellow daffodils and yellow and burgundy tulips adorn the table.
Ahh - springtime.

Shannon E. Kennedy said...

daffodil's and poetry... go perfectly together. thank you for sharing

Leanne Haines said...

That is so precious!!! That conversation is exactly why I love teaching kids Grace's age. They are so honest. Love it!!! Thanks for sharing!