Many years ago, Louis Armstrong was asked how come he could play so well. His response was basically that he just let the notes come – they just had to be the right notes!
A similar theme was used by the advertisers of a well know alcoholic beverage a while back. Pretending to be the poet, William Wordsworth, an actor was filmed struggling with the opening line of a poem. He makes a number of false starts, including “I walked about a bit on my own,” but nothing seemed quite right. Then he had a sip of said beverage and was instantly inspired to write:
“I wandered lonely as a cloud …” And a world famous poem was born.
Why am I telling you this? Partly because both anecdotes illustrate the enduring power of using the right words (notes) in the right places; something all writers struggle with on a daily basis (with or without recourse to the occasional tipple). And partly because I am off to Wordsworth country (The Lake District, UK) in the next few days. The daffodils will be gone by now, but who knows what inspiration for new work awaits me in the local hostelries?
So, in keeping with my growing holiday spirits, here is Wordsworth’s poem in full.
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.
If you have enjoyed reading this blog, and would like to read more of my work, please go to one of my Amazon Author pages.
You can download Festive Treats for free at any time. This anthology includes one of my short stories, Mary’s Christmas.
Look out for my collection of Shakespeare themed short stories – Cast Off – due out later this year from Solstice Publishing. http://www.solsticepublishing.com