March 12, 2005
Spring is here! Spring is here! First daffodil sighting of the year, yesterday at the Parc Montsouris, which I cross on my way to work. I spotted them first after a client lunch, walking by with two of my coworkers ("Oh, des jonquilles!", exclaimed I loudly, but they have ceased to take notice of my strange bursts of enthusiasm), and again a few hours later as I was going home. I could swear they had already grown by an inch. Now I hope the weather stays mild mild mild -- we don't want those daring spring pioneers to be cruelly seized by a new wave of cold.
And I cannot think of daffodils without thinking of Wordsworth and his poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud", which my 10th grade English teacher had taught the class during a trip to the Lake District in England, some 11 years ago. Reluctant at first (we were 15: what were we not reluctant to?), by the end of the trip we all knew it by heart and recited it happily at every half-occasion.
Important note: of course, considering this is a food blog and everything I had to research daffodils and cooking but no, daffodils are not edible. "The bulb of daffodil contains lycorine or narcissine a toxin that acts as an emetic [read: induces vomiting] in small amounts and can cause collapse and death by paralysis of the central nervous system in larger doseages." Oh. Not such a good idea, then.
Update: Ahem. So, as an observant and more horticulturally-savvy than I pointed out, these are in fact crocuses, not daffodils. Oh well. Still pretty, still springlike!
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
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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