Mumbo Jumbo Garbage *&#%$!

Back in my crazy college days, my friend Kellih and I once got in a huge fight over Wordsworth's poem, "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," better known as the "daffodils poem." Kellih was an unenlightened math major who had not the wisdom to major in English literature. One weekend, she had to write a paper on this poem for her Enlish Lit after 1750 class. She was frustrated because (1) the assignment was eating into our hiking plans; (2) she was an unenlightened math major; and (2) she thought it was one of the dumbest poems she'd ever read.

So she was lamenting her situation that Saturday morning, and in her frustration, she said something like that, "Why do I have to waste my time on this ... this mumbo jumbo garbage *&#%$!?"

Oh, horror or horrors! Sure, she was frustrated, but she'd just blasphemed the work of my beloved Wordsworth! And she'd done so in front of me!

You just don't dis Uncle Bill in front of me, man. No, sirree. I stomped out of the room. We didn't go hiking that day as originally planned. In fact, I didn't talk to her for a week.

(Happily, I'm much more laid back these days. Unless you blaspheme the genius of my beloved, bejowled, and bewigged one. Then you just better watch out, buster.)

Well, think of the "daffodils poem" what you will. I like it, personally. Still, I'll always fondly remember it as the "mumbo jumbo garbage *&#%$!" poem.

(Kellih and I kissed and made up. Well, we didn't kiss. That would have been an unpleasant experience for both of us. And we'd suffered enough unpleasantness with our little fight. But we did make up.)

Here's that poem I was telling you about.

"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" 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 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.


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