Sunday, March 28, 2010


A fluted cup of joy appears
And takes me back so many years--
It's Miss Neff's senior English now
(I'm seventeen--I don't know how)--
And Wordsworth's "heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils."

Old Wordsworth's dead--and Miss Neff, too?
Well, I could ask, but still, ask who?--
But I'm alive another year,
And when the daffodils appear,
My aging heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

--Matthew 6:28-30, ESV

--With credit to David and Magpie Tales . I borrowed the photo, as you'll see if you follow those links.


nothinghypothetical said...

I've always liked that you linked scripture with what you write. I think it grounds us to relate what we do to the truth we've inherited.

willow said...

Jim, this is a delightful piece. I love the rhyme scheme. Wonderful scripture connection, as well. Welcome to Magpie Tales. I hope to see you often.

My little offering is posted here:

Pauline said...

Wordsworth had it right - and so do you :)

joanny said...


A wonderful lyrical piece-- it sings out joy--

Good Magpie.


Jim Swindle said...

Thank you, each one, for the encouragement. I posted my confessions concerning this poem in a note on David's blog.

David, I realize that the scripture is worth immeasurably more than what I write. Willow, thanks for the idea. Pauline and Joanny, thanks for stopping by.

Berowne said...

And all in iambic tetrameter -- very impressive.

christine said...

I am sure Miss Neff would have been proud to know that you remembered that poem and that your heart like Wordswoth was filled with pleasure when upon a hill you saw....' A host of Golden daffodils.'
Love the reference to Matt 6:28-30 and I know that I am clothed in glory in His eyes.
Very nicely written.. I loved it

Jim Swindle said...

Thanks, Berowne and Christine. As I mentioned in a note on David's fine blog, I don't know whether Miss Neff's class was the one in which I learned the poem, nor whether I was 17 or 18 (my birthday was during that school year), and I probably COULD find out whether she died yet...but the poem does speak truth as to what I thought of when I saw the photo. I sometimes take such liberties when writing a mood poem. I trust that this note keeps me from being too deceptive.

Meanwhile, Miss Neff would have wanted the poem to say "whom" instead of "who," but that wouldn't rhyme with "too." I'm thankful for her precision.

Eric S. said...

Wonderful poem and rhyme. The scripture connection only adds to it. Well done, and I agree, Miss Neff would be proud.

Catalyst said...

"And when the daffodils appear,
My aging heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils."


Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful lilting poem and such a nice finish!

Jennifer Morrison said...

Beautiful, and the rhyming seems to mimic the dancing daffodils.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

What more could I add to what these other readers have commented? This poem is simply a masterpiece. Glory to God!

Word verification: nonsizes

The Bug said...

I enjoyed this quite a bit. I just spent some time this morning lost in memory - I had to complete a security clearance form & needed to name a person who knew me from college. Went to the website & did not know a single soul in the business department. I'm getting old!

steviewren said...

I love the way the photo prompt takes you to back to high school English, Wordsworth and Miss Neff. I enjoyed this poem.

Peter Goulding said...

Very clever to take the original and then link back to it. And the meter is perfect..

Jim Swindle said...

Thank you, each one who commented. I'm surprised by all of the kind comments.

Anything good in me comes from the Lord...and some of that via the people, including Miss Neff, who trained me. As I plan to write in my series of essays on evangelism, it's important, wonderful news that God sent his son, Jesus the Messiah. He lived a sinless life, did mighty signs, was crucified, died for sinners, rose the third day, appeared to hundreds of people, ascended into into heaven, and is coming again to judge both the living and the dead. He commands us to turn from everything else (especially our sin)and to believe in him, to trust enough to obey him. To all who believe, he gives eternal life. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus our Lord."


Wonderful piece, love the biblical quote. Very well done, thanks!

Brian Miller said...

wonderful poem and an excellent choice of scripture is so easy to worry...but what does that do?