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Form and meaning of The Daffodils by W.Wordsworth and Miracle on St.David’s Day by G.Clarke. Pre and Post C20th Poetry Comparison.
William Wordsworth wrote the poem “The Daffodils” in 1804, two years later after his experience with the Daffodils. The poem “Miracle on St. David’s Day” was written by Gillian Clarke around 1980. Miracle on St. David’s Day was written one hundred and seventy-six years after The Daffodils was. The poems are very similar in the way that they both look like poems, having a regular structure. In “Miracle on St. David’s Day” each stanza apart from the last one has five lines that are all about the same length.
In “The Daffodils” each stanza has six lines that are all about the same length. The poems are different in the way that “Miracle on St. David’s Day” was written like a story, sentences starting in one stanza and finishing in another. Also this poem does not rhyme, it looks like a poem but sounds like prose. “The Daffodils” is written as a poem with a regular rhyming pattern. Line one and line three rhyme, line two and line four, and line five and six are a rhyming couplet. This is regular throughout the poem. Both poems are similar as they are true experiences of the writers, and they are written in Modern English. Also the poems are both narrative poems.
William Wordsworth was born in 1770, an eighteenth century romantic poet. He described his poetry as “emotion recollected in tranquillity”, and that remembering is the key. Gillian Clarke was born in the twentieth century and is still alive today. G. Clarke is modern contemporary poet. Wordsworth’s inspiration for The Daffodils was spring itself, the sense and feeling of spring around him with so many numerous daffodils. Wordsworth allowed himself to be inspired by the beauty of nature and the magic of every year nature dying and freezing over and then coming to life and being re-born again. Wordsworth became caught up in the moment of his real life experience and wanted to savour and treasure it, so he wrote and feelings down on paper. In Wordsworth’s time you were either poor and hard working, or wealthy with not much to do.
Wordsworth had not much to do, so he opened his imagination to write poetry to fill his spare time. With having spare time and no need to be anywhere at a certain time, he explored nature and learnt more about the happenings of nature, which as a poet he respected, and he recorded his discoveries and emotions on paper. Clarke’s inspiration for writing “Miracle on St. David’s Day”, was her personal experience when visiting a mental institution.
She was “reading poetry to the insane”, which happened to awaken a long, repressed memory in one of the patients, whom recites a poem from the days of his youth, “forty years ago in a valley school, the class recited poetry by rote.” This experience impressed so strongly on Clarke’s mind that she wanted to keep her memory of the experience alive, telling the story for ten years to people before writing it in a poem. Clarke’s inspiration was the power of memory and the power of poetry. The sounds of her reading poetry to someone triggered a memory so hidden from long ago that I think she was shocked that it could have happened, and inspired her to write it in a poem.
Wordsworth’s purpose in The Daffodils is to express his emotion to the reader, and make the reader feel the daffodils and become lost in a magical world of the beauty of spring just like he himself did. Wordsworth appreciated nature already but wanted to get it across to the reader the moment of tranquillity and peace of mind he had, surrounded by the beautiful daffodils. Clarke’s purpose in writing “Miracle on St. David’s Day” is to tell people about the incident that she witnessed and to show the power of poetry and memory. Clarke wanted people to see that no matter how old the memory was or whether the person had a mental illness or not, as long as there was no memory loss, a memory hidden deep in the back of the mind can be awoken. Any small insignificant thing such as touch, sight, smell, sound or taste can awake it, and that memory is a very powerful thing.
Wordsworth’s “The Daffodils” has four stanzas in it. The content of stanza one tells us that Wordsworth is walking alone and how he comes across the daffodils and where. “Beside the lake, beneath the trees”, they were blowing in the wind.
Stanza two is where Wordsworth makes a comparison of the beautiful sparkling daffodils to the stars on the Milky Way, which means that there were too many daffodils to count like the millions of stars in the sky, “And twinkle on the Milky Way, they stretched in never-ending line.”
Stanza three explains how content a poet can be amongst these daffodils appreciating their natural sparkling beauty for a poet clearly respects natural beauty and “The Daffodils” being a true experience for Wordsworth made it a more significant experience in his life. Also Wordsworth describes how the daffodils stand out from anything around them and that only the daffodils are in focus, stopping any thought of any other matter in his head. “A poet could not but be gay, in such jocund company.” Wordsworth did not realise what effect the sight of the daffodils had brought on him and I do not think he realised that he would be writing about them two years later. Obviously the daffodils stuck in his mind and frequently reminded him of his experience because he was writing about them two years later, and to write about them obviously satisfied his need to express to others the joy the daffodils brought to him.
Stanza four is a memory of Wordsworth. He describes his situation of telling the reader in stanza one, two and three of the moment of the experience and stanza four is thinking about the impact of the experience. “For oft, when on my couch I lie in vacant or pensive mood…”
G. Clarke’s “Miracle on St. David’s Day”, has nine stanzas in it. The content of stanza one is a quote from the daffodils by W. Wordsworth. At first glance the reader is confused and thinks that it is a misprint on the poem, but then realises that is it connected with the poem in some later stage which makes the reader inquisitive and want to read on. “They flash upon that inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude.”
Stanza two is an introduction to the mental institution but the reader does not know this yet, the reader just absorbs the information described to them in a detailed picture which already mentions daffodils, giving a connection between this poem and “The Daffodils”. “An afternoon yellow and open-mouthed with daffodils.” A picture is already in the readers head of a warm, sunny afternoon in spring somewhere in a forest where there is a lot of greenery and a large country house hidden from view, peaceful and graceful.
Stanza three is the writer and the narrative voice, Gillian Clarke, describing what she is doing. She tells the reader that she is reading “poetry to insane”, so we assume that she is in an asylum and not the beautiful, tranquil country house the reader first thought it was. Clarke in stanza three also starts to describe a few of the patients there to the reader. “A beautiful chestnut haired boy listens…”
Stanza four is an extension of stanza three. It carries on to describe another patient, a woman at the institution, who is not mad or disturbed as people might think you would be in a mental hospital. She is just mildly mentally absent. She does not dream, or think, or feel, the woman is absent in mind but present physically. “In her neat clothes, the woman is absent.”
Stanza five is also a continuation of stanza four; these three stanzas are all connected. It goes into detail about a certain patient, described as a “labouring man”. By going into more detail about this patient, the reader thinks that he is a main character or will play quite a large role in the rest of the poem. This poem interests the reader to read further.
Stanza six tells us that this patient has never spoken. The “huge and mild” man stands up to recite “The Daffodils”. This is where stanza one is linked with the poem. This stanza tells us about the miracle that happens. The miracle is that a man in a mental institution, who has not spoken for a long, long time, is suddenly forced to speak by the power of an awakened memory. To the staff it does not seem such a miracle, as they know that he is an “elective mute”.
Stanza seven is about the nurses and the residents at the institution and the whole of nature’s reactions. It also describes the man who is reciting “The Daffodils” and how well he recites it after years of not speaking. “The nurses are frozen, alert; the patients seem to listen”.
Stanza eight is an explanation of how he came to know the poem “The Daffodils” and why he needed to speak it. It is a trip back in time and a reason for his being in a mental institution. The man came to know the poem, “forty years ago, in a Valleys school, the class recited poetry by rote”. His reason for being in the asylum is, “since the dumbness of misery fell he has remembered there was a music of speech and that once he had something to say”. This also explains why he spoke. He had a memory woken inside of him by the narrative voice reading to the insane.
Stanza nine finishes off the poem, as so does the man. There is a silent, still moment throughout nature and from the listeners at the mental institution, “before the applause, we observe the flowers’ silence.” There is a moment of silent appreciation throughout nature and humanity.
The structure of The Daffodils by William Wordsworth is in four equal stanzas. They each have six lines of similar length. The stanzas all look like each other. This is a regular structure. Stanzas one and two have complete sentences but stanza three and four have lines linked with a break in the middle. The rhyming pattern of the Daffodils is that line one and line three rhyme and line two and line four rhyme, and line five and six are a rhyming couplet. This is the regular rhyming pattern that continues throughout the rest of the poem. The poem looks even and neat on the page and has straightforward understanding looking language. The regular rhyming pattern fits in with the simplicity of the event and is a common experience shared by all. Wordsworth has shortened words to make to make them fit in with the flowing of the poem. This brings the structure together and neatens it to make it more readable. “For oft, when on my couch I lie…” “oft” is the shortened version of often.
The structure of The Miracle on St. David’s Day by G. Clarke also has a regular structure but is quite different from the Daffodils. It has eight stanzas all equal in size. They all contain five lines all of similar length, apart from the very last stanza that has only three lines containing the conclusion. “When he’s done, before the applause, we observe…” The poem is non-rhyming but flows, by one sentence starting on one line and running onto finish on the next line, such as, “A big, mild man is tenderly led…to his chair.”
This pattern helps to reveal the stages of the miracle because it flows and looks like a poem but sound like prose. This poem is a narrative poem. The narrative voice is Gillian Clarke as it is revealed to the reader that she is there herself telling the readers about her experience. “I am reading poetry to the insane.” The final stanza leads up to Clarke’s final meaning of how a distant memory can be triggered by anything small or large, showing the power of memory. “Forty years ago, in a Valleys school, the class recited poetry by rote.” William Wordsworth is the narrative voice of The Daffodils as it is revealed to the reader instantly, “I wandered lonely as a cloud.” This tells the reader that Worsworth is telling the reader about his experience.
The style of The Daffodils is peaceful and tranquil. The mood is set dreamily straight away with an image of floating. “I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills.” It has a romantic style for Wordsworth was a romantic poet, “emotion recollected in tranquillity.” Wordsworth’s words flow and run like a song with many images being displayed in front of the reader’s eyes all at once. “Beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”
This rhyming style sounds like a song and creates a summer picture of sun glittering on a lake with a soft patch of shade over it from the trees that are gently waving about in the soft and warm breeze in the reader’s mind. The style of The Miracle on St. David’s Day is completely different to the one of The Daffodils. It changes rapidly. At first it is warm and welcoming, the setting of the poem. First the reader is outside the building admiring the scenery, then the quickly moves to the inside of the building to discover the building’s true nature. The mood is then changed, slightly tense. The poem style is confusing, as there is a lot of a contrast used. Clarke contrasts the look of the patients to their mental illnesses. She has already referred to them as “the insane”.
“A beautiful chestnut-haired boy listens entirely absorbed. A schizophrenic.” This contrast is quite strong and obvious. The reader imagines a beautiful boy in every way, a good child, normal, content and happy. Then it instantly changes, he is “a schizophrenic” which changes the reader’s perspective of the child, as on the outside he is a perfect boy, almost angelic, then we see the inside, corrupted and destroyed of any normality.
The language of The Daffodils is in Modern English although some words have been shortened to fit in with the rest of the poem. For example; “O’er “, means over. “That floats on high o’er vales and hills”. Antiquated vocabulary is also used such as “glee” and “jocund”. The English is very straightforward, using both modern and antiquated vocabulary.
Stanza one begins with a simile. Wordsworth likens himself to a cloud that is driven by the wind over which the cloud has no control. Here he is telling the reader about his mood and feelings and behaviour in that present moment. His mood is aimless as his feet were driving him in a directionless manner. He just felt a force taking him and a need to wander. “I wandered lonely as a cloud”. The simile creates a drifting mood. There is then a strong sense of immediacy, “all at once”. Wordsworth draws the reader in with “at once” and the reader’s attention is riveted. There is a great deal of imagery in the first stanza.
“Crowd” and “host”, both convey a very large number or a numerous amount. In the next line the reader discovers what the “crowd” is. It is described vividly to the reader with a rich, luxurious and vibrant feel, “golden”. There is also a religious quality in “a host of golden daffodils”. A picture is created in the reader’s head of the golden daffodils glowing and highlighted to stand out from the rest of the world, as if from the heavens. It is like a “host” of angels. There is a strong assonance in stanza one, the repetition of the vowel sounds “ee” creates a sense of movement; “beside, beneath, trees, breeze”. The reader hears a beat, a rhythm creating a sense of the flow of movement and swaying of the daffodils. There is also an “ing” sound in stanza one that creates a more bouncing effect; “fluttering and dancing”. This gives stanza one a song like quality.
Stanza two opens with a simile and a comparison. Wordsworth compares the daffodils to stars, which stretch endlessly to the human eye. Wordsworth compares the numbers of the daffodils to the vast amount of stars. “Continuous as the stars that shine”, this means that the daffodils continued beyond the reach of his own eyesight so that there must have been thousands of daffodils or more. “They stretched in never-ending line”.
This conveys an infinite number, enthralling the reader. Wordsworth then gives elevated imagery, “stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky Way.” This gives the imagery of the daffodils releasing a ray of golden light around them, giving a magical feel. Wordsworth then makes a personification, “Tossing their heads in sprightly dance”. Only something that is alive could dance or toss their heads, so he points out the amount of life in these daffodils. He makes them full of life with vivid movement, “sprightly”. This is a lovely word to describe the behaviour of the daffodils, and conveys that they are full of movement and spring. The mood is warm, relaxed and light with a romantic atmosphere.
In stanza three an image of the whole of Nature alive is presented to the reader, “the waves beside them danced”. This is the waves of the lake beside the daffodils, leaping about driven by the wind as if dancing to compete with the beauty of the daffodils. This is also a personification of the waves dancing. The mood then changes by the word “but”, making the reader expect something. After all the describing of the magical and romantic atmosphere, the reader feels pessimistic that something is going to change the whole mood of the poem. The reader then discovers that nothing terrible happens but the “but” was only to shame the waves, as the daffodils were more effective than the waves “out-did the sparkling waves in glee”. This means that the daffodils bettered the waves.
The atmosphere is now light and fantastic again, “glee” meaning merriment and cheerfulness. There is a colon in the middle of stanza three indicating a pause, which continues with Wordsworth commenting on his feelings and actions at the present moment. “I gazed- and gazed- but little thought”. The hyphens slow the line down by breaking it up gradually, this gives the impression of thought to the reader. By doing this Wordsworth indicates the end of the description of the daffodils. There is also a metaphor in this stanza, “what wealth to me the show had brought”. The “wealth” in this stanza is a metaphor for the lasting measure of the experience gained by the sight of the daffodils and the emotions that they brought.
Stanza four is at a later time, indicating that the poem was a memory flashback. The reader knows this from the first line of the stanza. “For oft, when on my couch I lie”. It is a reflection of the experience by saying “oft” which means frequently. The next line creates an empty mood, far away, drifting and dreaming. This tells the reader of Wordsworth’s longing to be back in that experience. The mood and atmosphere is quite strongly put forward to the reader with “vacant or in pensive mood”. This means absent and dreaming, inattentive and expressionless but with a thoughtful frame of mind. This shows Wordsworth’s mood of leaving the world far behind him and trying to enter an ageing memory of an uplifting experience. Stanza four has a special meaning. It is a time in Wordsworth’s life when he is having a retrospective view of his experience, which is so emotionally overwhelming to him that it has created an extremely long lasting impression in his mind.
Wordsworth sums up his feelings from the experience in the last stanza “they flash upon that inward eye”, here he is saying that the vision of the crowd of daffodils is branded on his imagination for the rest of his life. This brings great happiness to him, “which is the bliss of solitude”. By using the word “bliss”, Wordsworth expresses his emotion of complete happiness. It is a religious and holy sounding word making the experience sound even more unreal and magical. “solitude”, meaning being alone completely with no-one near you at all, tells the reader that this experience was completely personal to him and special, and only he will ever know the true wonder of it even if he describes is as best as he can to others “and then my heart with pleasure fills”.
This is a personification as there is an image of a vase being filled to the brim with pure joy. Also there is another personification in the last stanza, “and dances with the daffodils”. It is a further personification of a lively person who dances. In this last line Wordsworth is saying that his heart is dancing with the daffodils. Daffodils do not dance, but to Wordsworth they exude life, joy and radiant beauty. Wordsworth is deeply moved by the sight of them and he feels that his heart has gained a new lease of life and that he will look on everything about life and living in a new manner now. The last three lines of stanza four create an angelic and heavenly mood.
In The Daffodils Wordsworth is trying to teach the reader to appreciate the beauty of nature and to understand the power of memory. I also think that he is trying to teach the reader about how the effect of just one experience in your life can be so strong and powerful that it can be remembered as vividly as it was the day of the experience many years later.
From the title “Miracle on St. David’s Day” it is revealed to the reader what this poem is about. It is obvious that a miracle is the main point of the poem, meaning something holy yet unexpected. We also find out that it happens on St.David’s Day, which might be of some sort of significance later on in the poem. Underneath the poem is an extract of a well-known poem. To the reader this is some sort of a misprint or mistake, but the author and title of the extract are given also, signifying no mistake. After a read through the reader finds out that it is linked with the fifth stanza, “the labourer’s voice recites “The Daffodils”.
The language of this poem is in Modern English. It is descriptive, non-antiquated, meaning more modernised and less formal, and contemporary. It also has a narrative style. The vocabulary evokes spring, the asylum and re-birth. Examples of vocabulary evoking spring are used in the first stanza to set the scene. “An afternoon yellow and open mouthed with daffodils”, this gives the reader an impression of freshness, newness and spring, clear and open to the world. Growth and life is suggested in the description of a garden, “…among cedars and enormous oaks”. “Nursery shrubs”, also suggests this.
The vocabulary evoking the asylum is mainly in stanzas two, three, four and six. Immediately it is evoked in stanza two with the words “insane” and “a schizophrenic”. In stanza six the impression of the asylum is presented quite clearly with “the nurses are frozen, alert; the patients seem to listen”. From this the reader learns that the place is some sort of hospital.
The vocabulary that evokes rebirth is in stanzas one, five and eight with the reference to the daffodils, which are connected to spring and being reborn. “The Miracle on St. David’s Day” is in poetic prose to prove that it is a descriptive piece.
In stanza one, line one, there is a personification, “yellow and open-mouthed”. This suggests that the sun creates an image of a bell shaped flower telling the reader of the afternoon speaking of spring. There is another personification in this stanza of sunlight appearing to walk along a path. “…the path treads the sun among cedars”. A country setting where nature dominates is evoked in lines four and five. “…it might be a country house, guests strolling, the rumps of gardeners between nursery shrubs”. The language and arrangement of it gives the reader an image of a place of contentment and relaxation. “might be”, strongly suggests that they are ‘not’ guests strolling and it is not a country house setting. This interests the reader to read on further to discover the true nature of the ‘guests’.
In stanza two images are created of the two characters presented to the reader. The first line of stanza two is a strong contrast to the harmonious setting created in stanza one “I am reading poetry to the insane”, is an extreme change of tone destroying the peaceful atmosphere. It is a short one line sentence, blunt and sharply in focus. It is what G. Clarke, the narrative voice is doing, proving that what she has written is from personal experience similarly to Wordsworth. G. Clarke’s technique is contrast. She contrasts the look of the patients to their mental illnesses. In lines seven and eight an old woman is described as “interrupting”. Lines nine and ten describe a boy as “beautiful” and “chestnut-haired” and then further on as “a schizophrenic”.
Stanza three describes a woman “in her neat clothes” but mentally “absent”. The woman’s description repeats the word “not” three times to emphasise her mental absence meaning her state of mind is not entirely there, “sits not listening, not seeing, not feeling.” It is key word emphasising the effect of the illness on the human psyche. There is a total lack of response to the poetry from the woman. The next two lines describe a man as “a big, mild man is tenderly led”, suggesting he is either dumb or bovine or ox-like, lumbering but good-natured.
Line eleven continues from line ten fitting in with G. Clarke’s narrative purpose. By mentioning herself, the focus of the reader is brought back to the story telling mode. Line twelve contains a metaphor, “in a cage of first March sun a woman…”. The woman is surrounded by a spotlight of sunlight. She is caught in a cage, which is the asylum and her mental illness. This is three different ways of being trapped emphasising her situation. In the last line of stanza three, the subject of the ‘miracle’ is introduced although the reader does not know this yet. The sentence is unfinished naturally leading the reader on to stanza four and on with the story.
Stanza four continues the sentence begun in stanza three. Imagery is created by “the big, dumb labouring man as he rocks”. A large imapct is presented to the reader with “big” and “dumb” is a large impact conveying contrast of his mental and physical state. In the first line of stanza four the reader discovers that this patient has “never spoken”, but later we find out that he can and is therefore an elective mute. Line twenty has blunt, shorter words that describe him very well. His psychotic behaviour is presented to the reader with a rocking rhythm created throughout the stanza, repeated. He seems content with the rhythms of the poem, by the image of rocking. “His labourer’s hands on his knees, he rocks.” “..to the big, dumb labouring man as he rocks”. “Rocks” is repeated twice in the stanza so that a movement is created in the stanza and to emphasise his mental condition. There is also an oxymoron in this stanza, “I read to their presences, absences”.It is two opposite things put together. Here the patient’s are there in physical state but not in a mental state.
Stanza five introduces the beginnings of the miracle with an alliteration. “He is suddenly standing, silently”. These are quiet but powerful words giving the thought to the reader’s head that something of extreme importance to the poem is going to happen. The reader has already heard of the man as “big” and “mild” but now he is “huge and mild”, now that he has stood up. He is quite a presence, but from the repeated word “mild”, we know that he is really a ‘gentle giant’. Although he sounds a ‘gentle giant’ his presence is intimidating. The impact of him standing evokes a sense of fear in the poet, “but I feel afraid”. “Huge and mild” are straight forward language but give a large impact. There are two similes in stanza five, “Like slow movement of spring water”, creating the image of after winter, snow and ice have almost all melted and it is slow and heavy, trickling down a hill side. Images of light and dark are created with “the first bird of the year in the breaking darkness”. This tells the reader that the man’s voice is coming out of the darkness. His voice is being reborn or regenerated symbolising the whole newness of spring.
Stanza six is the response or reaction to the reaction of the poem, from the staff, the patients and the whole of nature. “The nurses are frozen”, the nurses are shocked and in amazement to the reaction that this man had to the poem. The nurses are also “alert”, because this is a very unusual occurrence and they have to be alert and ready to act in any medical capacity needed. The other patients also “seem to listen” for once, being attentive and showing recognition of the miracle. There are two halves to the poem from different sides of the reaction, the patients’ reaction and the staff. “He is hoarse but word-perfect”, this tells the reader that he has obviously not spoken for a very long time although there must be some reason for this. His voice is croaky from the lack of use of it, but his memory is very powerful and he has not yet forgotten any of it from his days of youth.
Nature outside also seems to listen to the man’s recital, “outside the daffodils are as still as wax”, they are awake, attentive and listening, but somehow they look like they have been carved, awakening daffodils from long ago. “Their syllables unspoken”, show that nature waits for the recital of the poem to end. The daffodils symbolise spring and rebirth, in many forms. The rebirth of the man’s voice. There is one personification at the end of the stanza, “their syllables unspoken”, suggesting that the daffodils can speak. There is a reference to “The Daffodils” in stanza six “ten thousand”, stating the amount of daffodils outside there are, which are the exact words used in “The Daffodils” by Wordsworth.
Stanza seven is a flashback of the man’s youth and how he came to learn the poem that he recites. The flash back offers an insight or explanation of how he is able to stand up and recite the poetry. There is one metaphor in this stanza, “a music of speech”. A music of speech is a voice inside of him with a very strong force and the power of memory needing to get out and tell others of this force. “Music” is symbolic for harmony and now once more the man is in harmony with himself, between his vocal chords and his intellect. The inner harmony within him shows the importance of poetry on the soul. This stanza emphasises the effect of nature on us all and the power of nature on the human psyche.
Stanza eight is when the silence, stillness and attentiveness throughout stanza six, seven and eight, breaks. The man finishes the recital and the patients and the staff firstly observe nature’s attentiveness and then the applause comes telling the reader that the change in nature during the recital did not go unnoticed.
“When he’s done, before the applause, we observe the flowers’ silence.” The end of this line is a personification of the flowers being able to listen and change their mood by choice, “the flowers’ silence”. “A thrush sings”, tells the reader of how the atmosphere changes and nature goes back to normal. It also suggests to the reader that this was the expected miracle, permanently changing the man’s life for the better. It seems that the man’s illness has either been taken away by some angel of nature or has taken a new extremely unexpected turn. The last line contains a metaphor, “the daffodils are flame”, giving the reader an image of heat, power, intensity and life. The daffodils are alive and have awoken from the dream or other life whilst they were listening, just like the man’s mental state.
Clarke was trying to teach the reader that the power of voice and poetry can be forever lasting in a strong memory, even if the memory is very distant it can be triggered. Learning a piece by heart, once engraved on the brain may never be lost. Many things can unlock this memory but in particular the power of nature, voice and poetry can recall it most strongly. Even if mentally ill a memory can be recovered and even sometimes a memory lost long ago with the help of nature, can even cure an illness bringing the person back with their mental and physical state.
I have learnt a lot from studying these two poems. The poems are completely different and contrast in many ways, but they also link with each other also. I had not heard of either of the two poems before, although “The Daffodils” by William Wordsworth is quite a well-known poem. Both poems being new to me they were fresh and interesting. Studying these poems has taught me to appreciate the wonder of nature more and recognise the power of memory. I cannot say which poem I prefer as they are entirely different, but I probably enjoyed reading “The Daffodils” more, because it was light and dreamy with a bouncy rhythm to it. It also seemed more unrealistic which appeals to me more.
My profound experience with nature happened last summer. I go out horse riding every weekend with a friend of mine in Brockenhurst. We spend the whole day exercising the horses and exploring the forest. One weekend we were walking along a track in the forest, we turned round to the right at the end of the track, into a clearing and we stopped straight away. In front of us, at the bottom of a wide decreasing slope was a herd of deer. Right at the front of the herd was a white stag. He was proud, wise, noble and valiant looking with the golden sun adoring him, giving him a halo effect.
Everything seemed to be silent as if time had been stopped, we were in a moment all of our own. The sun was beating down on us from behind us, as if to illuminate the stag and his herd. We just stared at the stag and he seemed to stare back. The stag held our gazes, which seemed to last forever. He then proudly turned around and walked through the centre of the herd into the dark and shaded forest. He did not turn his head, but the rest of the herd walked behind him as if trying to match noble quality but none succeeded. I will never forget that, as I had never seen a white stag before and probably will never again.