Literary Calligraphy by Susan Loy

March Birth Flowers Selection - "DAFFODILS"


"I wandered lonely as a cloud..." wrote English poet Wordsworth about 1807. Flower of the month for April, the artist surrounds a stand of yellow daffodils with Wordsworth's poem in green. The lovely and cheerful quotation speaks to the interconnectedness of all things.

"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 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."   William Wordsworth

Daffodils are the flower of April in the North American flower calendar. Wild daffodils are a species of Narcissus, called pseudonarcissus, false narcissus because while all daffodils are narcissi, not all narcissi are daffodils. Also called Lent Lily and Trumpet or Common Daffodil, the wild daffodil has six pale yellow petals with a trumpet or corona in a different shade and is exceedingly variable in size, shape and color. In the Victorian language of flowers daffodil means chivalry or regard.

Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud" or "Daffodils" was probably written between 1804 and 1807, when it was first published. The second stanza was added in 1815. This poem was a collaboration between William, his sister Dorothy, and his wife Mary, who wrote lines 21 and 22. Dorothy Wordsworth was often William's muse, and he dedicated at least five poems to her. She wrote the following description in her journal on April 15, 1802:

"...We saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seeds ashore & that the little colony had so sprung up-But as we went along there were more & yet more & at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breath of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about & about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness & the rest tossed & reeled & danced & seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing."

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March Birth Flower "Daffodils"
Text by William Wordsworth
Signed prints produced from the original watercolor

Image size: 4-1/2" x 4-1/2"
Paper size: 8" x 8"
Frame size: 10" x 10"

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