SPF: Daffodils



Words 200

“Good morning children. Take out your English Readers and turn to Page 5. Daffodils by…”

“Teacher, what are daffodils?”


“What kind of flowers? The red ones that bloom during Holi or…

I wandered lonely as a cloud…”

“Teacher, why lonely? The other clouds would give it company?”

“We’ll discuss this later Molly.”

“Teacher! What are vales? And isn’t the spelling o’er wrong?

“No Molly. Poets are allowed to write like that.”

“That’s not fair!”

“Enough Molly. A host, of golden daffodils.”

“Host? Are they having a party? How can flowers host a party?”

“It’s not that kind of a host Molly. He means a lot of daffodils.”

Molly subsided. She loved stories. Where was the story here? Why say something but mean something else? How would one understand? What kind of flowers – red or yellow? Ten thousand flowers! She would have loved to see them tossing their heads in sprightly – aha a new word – dance.

“…pay attention Molly…the daffodils beat the sea in their dance of joy.

“But Teacher, that’s not the sea. It is a lake.”

“Hold out your hand! Now get out of class.”

“It’s still a lake.” Molly sniffed as she walked out.


PS: Oft this flashes upon my inward eye but I now know what daffodils look like – thanks to Sunday Photo Fiction 😀 Click here for other stories on this prompt

PPS: A partly fictionalized account of my first brush with poetry (not counting nursery rhymes). Opinionated and unimaginative, as an 8 year-old, I couldn’t really grasp the essence of the poem (can’t say much has changed since then). Yet strangely enough, that day is crystal clear – where I sat in class, the teacher, my thoughts (I didn’t say most of these things). I also remember being very skeptical about “Continuous as the stars that shine
  And twinkle on the milky way.” Flowers didn’t twinkle did they? The last stanza of the poem was (and remains) my favorite – been there, done (doing) that 😉

Corporal punishment was the norm in those days, at least in my first school. Apologies (bouquets, kudos and thanks) are due to my English teacher. She did mistake the lake as the sea. I did raise an objection. But she not only gracefully accepted her oversight but also publicly boosted my morale (and bighead) which could be the reason why that day is so clearly etched in my memory. 😀

Thank you for reading – do share your thoughts and memories of this poem or childhood.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 88 and Calvin


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Email me at mysilverstreaks@gmail.com or tweet me @mysilverstreaks

14 thoughts on “SPF: Daffodils”

  1. Ahh, I can really empathise with you, for I feel myself in the same boat as yours. You have echoed my thoughts 😉 But yes, now I feel that the flowers do twinkle 🙂 Funny how perspectives change with times!!
    I agree… the last stanza is beautiful. Loved your writing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a shame the teacher didn’t go over the poem before reading it. I’m sure you weren’t the only child who didn’t understand. The others were probably afraid (with good reason) to ask. I was a teacher. One high school teacher told my daughter she asked too many questions. I told my daughter that was what the teacher was there for. The students were supposed to be learning by asking questions if it was necessary. Simply lecturing is the “poorest” form of teaching. A good teacher knows that. Good writing. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read that as “Corporeal punishment”. I have been reading too much fantasy and science fiction methinks lol.

    I like this, the inquisitiveness of children and their inability to keep it to themselves. It sounds like you had a good teacher though if she was willing to accept her error in front of her class. I wonder, if she had not said that,, it would still be in your memory or another confined to the dark room of school life not wanting to be brought to the fore.

    Good story Dahlia. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Yes I have fond memories of that particular teacher and it impressed me even then that it was very remarkable of her to willingly accept her oversight. And yes that’s probably why I remember it with such clarity 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved your story, part real part imaginary. When learning the English language using correct grammar is difficult enough and then have to suffer the poetic language which did not make any sense. I probably thought just like Molly. Though now in spring when I see daffodils everywhere William Wordsworth’s poem always come to the mind and his words make sense.
    Corporal punishment! Even in the Girl’s school, we had that.Some of us did not take the punishment easily.
    As soon as the teacher came with the ruler we( used to get up and run around the classroom. Inevitably we were thrown out of the class but also had to take the punishment next day.When we meet up after all these years we have a laugh. Those wonderful school days. I hasten to add that all our teachers were very good(including the one who ran after us with the ruler).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Caning was a regular feature in those days, especially for boys. We girls got off with a rap on our knuckles at the most. But then we were careful not to invite punishment while the boys simply didnt care. In fact they liked to brag and compare notes. 😀


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