A poem can stir all of the senses, and the subject matter of a poem can range from being funny to being sad. I hope that you like this poem and the sentiments in the words of Daffodils by William Wordsworth.
This poem has special meaning to me, although I could and did not appreciate it when I was doing English and English Literature in 1959 in Penang Free School under the tutelage of my teacher and friend (I met him again in Hongkong in 1986), the late D.H. Howe. I had never seen a daffodil at the time nor had I been to the English Lake District which had inspired poets for many generations.
The Penang Free School, Green Lane, Penang
Mr. Howe gave me a very low grade in a class examination for my written appreciation of this William Wordworth’s poem. My Penang Free School classmates, Tan Sri Sheriff Kassim, Dato Lim Say Chong, Dato Zain Yusuf ,and Goh Thong Beng may recall this incident. I had never felt more humiliated than the treatment for this effort I got from Mr. Howe. I had failed to see imagery which Wordsworth created in this poem. But how could I ever forget the opening lines of this poem, “I wondered lonely as a cloud, That floats on high o’er vales and hills…”
Thanks, Mr. Howe for the humiliation I got but as in all things, there was something positive that came out of it. It made me learn and appreciate a little poetry every now and then, especially when the chips are down or when fortune frowns on me. May God Bless you, Sir.
I mentioned this incident to my wife, Dr. Kamsiah G. Haider last evening, about D.H. Howe, my English teacher, William Wordworth the poet and his Daffodils and of course Penang Free School (picture above) . It is, therefore, appropriate that I should dedicate Daffodils (she prefers red and white roses, and white lillies) by William Wordsworth to her with all my love and admiration. —Din Merican
Daffodils 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 leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but 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.