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Volume 15, Issue 14 ~ April 5 - April 11, 2007


Ode to Bay Spring: A World Worth Wordsworth

This week, we intended to give you 10 Reasons Everybody’s Feeling Better Than We Felt on Groundhog Day. But describing near ecstasy with so measly a number is like comparing a match to sunrise.

On her spring splurge, Mother Nature isn’t satisfied until she’s brought forth as many blossoms as there are stars in the sky. Her management of spring is so sustainably neat that the flagrant seed capsules we call flowers propagate joy on the way to begetting their next generation. Which is why readers like Buck Herring, of Millersville, write us praising their forsythia; why we stop on the way to work to pick the daffodils; and why we join the international procession to the Tidal Basin to see our nation’s capital gone soft on cherry blossoms.

So instead, this week we bring you a poem and a promise.

William Wordsworth called his poem Daffodils, though he might well have called it Ode to Joy. This is only a bit of it, but almost enough.

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 …

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!

—William Wordsworth: 1804

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