It Only Happens Once a Year

The first sighting of daffodils each year makes my heart sing and evokes the fondest thoughts of my late mother and father, both of whom adored the flowers, and the poems associated with them.

Mother with Daffodils Photo: Frank Tubridy

Well, today was the day of days. I was driving from Passage East into Waterford City and there on a bank on the side of the road the gleam of yellow had me enthralled, with all thoughts of the political crisis in Northern Ireland, Brexit and the coming of Donald Trump disappearing from my cluttered mind.

Daffodil Road

I’m not sure if anyone can see daffodils without finding themselves quoting line after line of William Wordsworth’s The Daffodils. I certainly can’t as it is a poem that has embroidered my heart since I was a tot and the yellow threads grow deeper each year:

The Daffodils

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.

(William Wordsworth)
















Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

30 thoughts on “It Only Happens Once a Year”

  1. I really wanted a Love button, but Like will have to do.. is there anything more cheery than daffodils, (or perhaps crisp white daisies)… they feed the soul as do the words of Wordsworth. What poet was better named?

  2. Lovely photo of your beautiful mum – you look so like her, Jean. I too, loved the Daffies in Ireland heralding Spring. In Western Australia, we have wild Gladioli (native Watsonia) everywhere during wildflower season in September. While living in Cork one of my favourite photos is of my man and I among some Daffodils, so naturally I recalled my schooldays in Africa when W.W.’s poem was compulsory but also a favourite.

  3. What a gorgeous photo of your Mum, and what a lovely post! Your daffodils are very early and look fabulous. The first sighting is always special, isn’t it? And Wordsworth got it spot on!

  4. In the midst of our long hot summer in Australia it’s wonderful to see the daffodils and the green grass ! I loved Ireland when we visited 30 years ago and would love to return one day. The poem is one of my favourites.

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