Comparison between ‘The Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth, and ‘Miracle on St.David’s Day’ by Gillian Clarke.
The Daffodils by William Wordsworth was written in the eighteenth century. Gillian Clarke wrote miracle on St.David’s day in the twentieth century, 1980, making her a contemporary poet. The obvious comparison between the two poems is their involvement with daffodils, but there are many others. For instance they are both based on real, spectacular events, and vivid memories. They were both also written several years after the event took place. This is perhaps the first instance that the poet realised the incredible, lasting effect that the moment had inflicted on them, and that they could clearly recall the event such a long period of time after.
However, as always when comparing two poems, there are clear differences, more in the structure of the poem than the content. There are still differences in the subject and setting, for instance, Miracle is set in an enclosed, cold setting, with the beauty on the outside rather than inside, whereas The Daffodils is something beautiful happening in setting surroundings.
The structure of the poems has obvious differences, the most noticeable being length and rhyme. Miracle is more like a piece of prose than a poem, but is written in poem form. It is also a great deal longer and some stanzas are linked together to try and keep them regular, and yet say all that needs to be said.
Wordsworth lived in the eighteenth century and was born in 1770. He was a romantic poet, who saw nature in a romantic way. He tried to teach the reader to appreciate nature more than we do now, and that nature is beautiful and should be respected with our souls.
Clark is still alive today, making her a contemporary poet, and Miracle was written in 1980, but her actual experience was some ten years before that.
I think that Wordsworth’s inspiration didn’t just come from the experience, but more the lasting effect on his memory, and the feelings that he still felt years after the sight met him.
Clarke’s inspiration I think comes from more than one place. She was obviously moved, as I think many people are by ‘The Daffodils’, and the beauty and depth coming from the man in such a dismal, cold place. I think that she mentions the daffodils because she wants to symbolise the fact that the man has escaped the captivity of his own illness, and like the daffodils outside of the asylum, he realises that there is “a music of speech and he once had something to say”