Sunday, March 25, 2012

Natures Poem


This weeks theme for Sunday Stamps is 'flowers, or Spring'.

Actually it is the end of summer here in South Africa. Where I live we will soon experience a short autumn period but it is hardly noticeable as most trees and shrubs are evergreen. Down the road in the park there are some plane trees which turn golden and look very pretty until the colder weather arrives. They are native to North America and I think they might be called Sycamores there.

Then there will be two or three months of cool, crisp days and chilly nights (by our standard, for example I hardly think a Canadian will be bothered to even think of putting on a long sleeved shirt). During this time is is usually very dry and then in August the rains come and summer is not far away.

When I lived in England, for the first time ever I experienced all the seasons. In London spring lasts a very short time, characterised by the wonderful flowering blossoms in many front gardens. I saw cherry blossoms for the first time and fell in love with them. Or perhaps I had seen them before in South Africa but taken them for granted in a country which is so full of wonderful plant life you can hardly look anywhere without your senses being overwhelmed. After the bleak miserable winter in London I saw cherry blossoms and I felt like Cinderella when her fairy Godmother turns up!

But before the blossoms, the first flower that I saw in early spring was the delicate daffodil. How astonished I was one day, trudging to Sainsbury's across a public field used by kids to play football, miserably hunched over by the cold to see three golden delights in the mud under a tree. I stopped and stared, just astonished that something so wonderful could grow in such a grey and sodden world. Suddenly there was hope!

Anyway this lovely daffodil stamp was part of a set of 4 released by USPS on March 15, 2005. The other flowers are a hyacinth, an iris and a tulip. The artist was Christopher Pullman.

I leave you now with a poem 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 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.

Sunday Stamps


  1. Wordsworth's Daffodils must be one of the first poems I ever learnt by heart, the first verse, that is. Whether it's because of that or not, I don't know but I always watch out for the first sighting of daffodils each year. Lovely flowers.

  2. We've had daffodils out for several weeks now, but we are having a remarkably warm (and dry) March.

  3. So interesting to hear of the different seasons, and rhythm of the year in South Africa. From the county of Wordsworth, the daffodils are at their peak at the moment.

  4. I remember this series of stamps and as I recall they are all very pretty. thank you for joining us.

  5. I have seen some daffodils blooming here already, but I haven't seen any other flowers blooming yet.

  6. Daffodils have bloomed here too. What a lovely watercolour! Flower paintings are sometimes even prettier than flowers themselves.

  7. I think I might like your winters.....

  8. A lovely stamp and your descriptions are wonderful. I love that poem of Wordsworth's too.

  9. This is the best post I have read in too long. There is nothing superfluous about it. You grabbed my attention with the first sentence, and kept it to the very end.

    I remember the poem quite well. I believe every American student read it in school. Some students and lovers of poetry have memorized it. I saw the daffodils this time. I felt the poet this time, although I have read the poem countless times. Good writing makes a reader feel the way you made me feel. Get this . . . I have never been overly fond of daffodils because they are almost too loud and too fragile. I see them in a totally different light now.

    Thank you for getting me to see the same thing through the same eyes, yet in a different way.

  10. Don't forget the A to Z Challenge begins tomorrow! Looking forward to your posts.

  11. Thanks for a look into your South African life...I visited Swaziland, Jo-burg and Durban in 1979. Lovely golden glow over the veld! Just stopping by from the challenge...hope you enjoy the journey through the alphabet!

  12. Hey there, are you still going ahead with the A-Z challenge?

    This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  13. I love this poem, and miss South Africa greatly!

    Maybe you can still catch up in the challenge - good luck!!

    Nice to meet you through the A-Z Challenge!

    English Speaking Zone

  14. Hello there, fellow South African! Hahahaha I love saying that, because I meet so few SA bloggers on my treks across the bloggosphere.;-)

  15. Hello, Jocelyn! What a delightful blog you have here! Love seeing beautiful postal stamps and reading the poems! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and give me words of encouragement!HUGS from Canada ( a place with 4 seasons :) !

  16. Hi Jocelyn, thank you so much for your kind words on my post for my mom. Yes, go tell your mom you love her. Say hi from me, too. LOL, she'll probably wondering who is she? Hah... Have a beautiful day. :)

  17. Thank you, Jocelyn, for such a beautiful read -- I needed this. :o) You have such a way with words. I often stop and stare at flowers and am, like you, astonished that such beautiful things can grow in this world.
    Thank you for your kindness and for caring about Humble, Jocelyn. :o) It means more than a lot to me! I hope all is well with you and that life is being kind. :o)

  18. Very nice and interesting blog. I liked both: the article and the poem.
    Best wishes from Brazil: Geraldo