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Write about the importance of memory in Wordsworth's "Daffodils" and Clarke's "Miracle on St. David's Day".

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Introduction

Write about the importance of memory in Wordsworth's "Daffodils" and Clarke's "Miracle on St. David's Day" The first of the two poems, Wordsworth's "Daffodils" is about a man remembering that some daffodils cheered him up one day. The poem starts off with the person being described as a cloud and how he slowly joins a "host" of "golden" daffodils. But the reader does not know at first that this poem is actually a memory until further down in the poem. Throughout the poem Wordsworth refers back to the daffodils and makes a connection with other things like them such as stars. Wordsworth also depicts how the daffodils "dance". In the last verse the reader finally finds out that the poem is a recollection. Whilst the second of the two poems, "Miracle on St. David's Day" written by Gillian Clarke is about a mentally ill patient reciting Wordsworth's "Daffodils" in front of a crowd of other patients and daffodils. From the title "Miracle on St. David's Day" it is revealed to the reader what this poem is about. It is obvious that a miracle is the main point of the poem, meaning something holy yet unexpected. The poem starts off in a very positive setting "among the cedars and enormous oaks" but by the second verse the reader finds out that Clarke is, in reality, describing an Insane Asylum. ...read more.

Middle

This means absent and dreaming, inattentive and expressionless but with a thoughtful frame of mind. Verse four has a special meaning. It is a time in Wordsworth's life when he is having a look back at his experiences, which is so emotionally overwhelming to him that it has created an extremely long lasting impression in his mind. Wordsworth sums up his feelings from the experience in the last verse "they flash upon that inward eye"; here he is saying that the vision of the crowd of daffodils is stuck in his imagination for the rest of his life. This brings great happiness to him, "which is the bliss of solitude". By using the word "bliss", Wordsworth expresses his emotion of complete happiness. "Solitude", meaning being alone completely with no-one near you at all, tells the reader that this experience was very personal to him and special, and only he will ever know the wonder of it even if he describes is as best as he can to others "and then my heart with pleasure fills". This is a personification as there is an image of a jug being filled to the brim with pure joy. Also there is another personification in the last verse, "and dances with the daffodils". It is a further personification of a lively person who dances. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are also his audience. Clarke describes the numbers of daffodils and how their syllables are unspoken. In the last but one verse we find out how the man knew the poem."40 years ago in a valleys school" although it is a short poem he still remembered it after 40 years. After starting to speak again h had "remembered there was a music of speech" but he did use to speak "and that he once had something to say". At the end of the man's poem "before the applause, we observe the flower's silence. A thrush sings and the daffodils are flame." Gillian Clarke portrays a vivid and colourful image of the daffodils. She describes them as "flame" but the reader knows that they are actually clapping. These two poems "the Daffodils" by William Wordsworth and "Miracle on St. David's Day" by Gillian Clarke are both very similar in style, content and ideas both have some mentioning of daffodils. And both have the theme of memory except they're represented in a different way. These two poems talk about the importance of memory to a person; in Wordsworth case a man remembering a great day he had with some daffodils and in Clarke case a mental patient remembering the poem "The Daffodils" after 40 years without speaking. Both these poems have a lot in common with each other. But they are also connected by their style of writing. James Challenger 2003 English Poetry Essay Page 1 ...read more.

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