This is one of those poems that sticks. Because I think of it every single year when I see that first yellow bloom, and even if you think you're "too cool" to like Wordsworth, I bet you do too.
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.
Why can't pleasure be simple? Why do we - as academics - often dismiss this type of easy joy? I don't know how many times I've heard my colleagues mock this poem, and I'm pushing against that supercilious attitude today. Because I bet every single person I've heard scoff at these lines remembers them, somewhere in the back of a mind calcified by literary theory and analysis, when the first flash of yellow appears each spring.