Sunday, April 7, 2013

Daffodils

         ''That best portion of a good man's life; 
His little, nameless, unremembered acts 
Of kindness and of love.''
William Wordsworth April 7, 1770 -April 23, 1850

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) is the foremost of the English Romantic poets. He was much influenced by the events of the French Revolution in his youth, and he deliberately broke away from the artificial diction of the Augustan and neo-classical tradition of the eighteenth century. He sought to write in the language of ordinary men and women with  ordinary thoughts, sights and sounds.
Wordsworth spent most of his adult life in the Lake District in England with his sister Dorothy and his wife Mary, by whom he had four children.
One day he and his sister Dorothy were returning home and came across a field of daffodils dancing in the wind. Dorothy wrote their observations in her journal. Two years later Wordsworth wrote this famous poem. The first copy was titled "I Wandered As Lonely As a Cloud." was published in 1807. When Wordsworth revised  the poem a second time the title was changed to "Daffodils." His wife added lines 21-22. it was published in 1815.
In this poem, Wordsworth is saying that he came across a field filled with daffodils. He thinks they are more beautiful than the lake. He loves the merry, jocund flowers. He says that when he lies on his couch to think, the daffodils come to his mind. This brings him bliss and happiness. When Wordsworth is saying he wandered lonely as a cloud he is using a  metaphor. 
      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 leaves in glee;
     A poet could not be but 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.
What better way to celebrate Wordsworth's birthday than with a Daffodil Cake
Daffodil Cake
Ingredients:
  • 1 box of white angel food cake mix (Betty Crocker product works well)
  • yellow food coloring
  • 5 TB. softened butter
  • 1-3 oz. package softened cream cheese
  • 4 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh lemon juice –use 4 large lemons
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 5 cups powdered sugar  
  • milk

Directions:
  • Prepare cake mix as directed on box using a tube pan for this recipe
  • Divide batter into 2 batches add 3 drops of yellow food coloring to one batch
  • Pour white batter in pan and then add yellow batter and use a butter knife to swirl
  • When cake is done cool in pan upside down on a bottle for an hour use a knife to go around the inside and center to remove from pan-invert on a plate
  • Place cooled cake in refrigerator till chilled which will make spreading frosting easier
Frosting
  • Beat softened butter, cream cheese, zest, lemon juice, vanilla till blended
  • Beat in powdered sugar and adding in milk starting with 1/4 cup and then add more as needed till right frosting consistency
  • Frost cake and sprinkle toasted coconut on sides and top of cake
  • Refrigerate till serving
  • Optional: Crushed Macadamia nuts on top or pecans
 
  
Recite a poem to family and friends
"You can use holidays or birthdays as an opportunity to celebrate with a poem that is dear to you, or one that reminds you of the season."
Poetry Tip for the day from poets.org  

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a refreshingly good cake for spring, although I'd need to omit the coconut given my husband doesn't like it. But he loves angel food. And, oh, sweet daffodils. With six inches of snow predicted, it's tough to imagine any flowers blooming here soon.

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