Spring is in the Air

In honour of International Women’s Day (when did they come up with that one?) and the fact that spring is just around the corner, I present an excerpt from the recently discovered private journal of William Wordsworth, found lying around in the same place as Dr Watson’s secret diary (here)  (Best not to concern ourselves with how a fictional character managed to keep a diary).  That cellar turned out to be a literary treasure trove.  When proposing a post on Wordsworth, Son No.1 asked, ‘who’s Wordsworth?’  So I’m expecting rock bottom readership.


Wednesday 10th March 1804

11.30 am

Managed to get out of dove cottage today.  Dorothy was lying in a swoon on the new settee we got for her room up in the attic; doped up on opium, with a bad case of the vapours and screeching like a turkey  – better to be out of ear shot (and gunshot.) I took the precaution of removing the Baker Flintlock from the hat stand in the hall, in case she got ideas.   Sneaked a peak at Burton’s ‘Anatomy of Melancholy‘ yesterday, while sis was otherwise engaged in moping about in the hallway clutching a bottle of homemade gin.  Judging by Burton I think she’s got a case of ‘windy hypochondriacal melancholy.’  Explains that smell upstairs anyway.  She’s not the only one suffering.  I’ve got a splitting headache, which is most probably a tumour on the brain.  The wife was most concerned.  Little sis however quipped: ‘he had a tumour on the brain last year too and he’s still here isn’t he?’

Ok, she’s my sister, but I sometimes wish that being my c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t companion wasn’t her full-time job.  Maybe I can get her a cleaning job down at Dalemain Mansion?   (NB pick up the pony at Grasmere tomorrow, ride to Dalemain and enquire.)  I HATE RIDING.   Sis is always saying, ‘why have you got a pony William when you never use it.’  I told her, it’s for emergency riding only.

I must be feeling very out of sorts to write down such uncharitable thoughts.  Just realised that rhymes.  Well, it would do wouldn’t it?  Me being a poet.  Would you credit it?   Not written a decent poem in months but can’t seem to write in here without breaking out in rhyming couplets.   Woe is me.  Inspiration has dried up and the muse has flown.

It was a lovely spring day so I took a walk round Ullswater near the water’s edge.  It was heaven to be on my own; no loopy sister, no nagging Mrs and no snotty nosed kids.  Couldn’t help glancing up a time or two at that ginormous hill at the back of the house.  There was a humungous white cloud hanging above it.  Saw a couple of daffodils near the trees.   Then came across a nice patch of primrose flowers.  Can’t be doing with daffodils personally; Dot loves them of course but then she would wouldn’t she?   Dotty Dotty – daft as a daff…..there’s some alliteration for you sister dear.  There was a dog running around with a bone and a blackbird twittering away.

Hill…. hills….primroses… maybe there’s a poem there.  (NB must think of words that rhyme with hill.)  That reminds me, must stop hanging around with crazy Coleridge all the time.  Had the three of us lying on top of that ginormous hill the other day pretending to be dead.  I mean what the…?   How’s that supposed to help summon the muse?  If you ask me it was just another excuse for fruit loop Sam to lie about doing nothing, like he does most days.  Uncharitable thoughts William, mustn’t get distracted.  I can feel a poem coming on.

Walked about a bit on my own
stopping to look at a big hill
Saw some primrose and a dog’s bone
and a blackbird with an orange bill

I don’t know, it lacks something.   The dog’s bone will probably have to go, not at all poetic.  (NB must think of words that rhyme with own.)  Wish I hadn’t lost that rhyming dictionary I knicked from Coleridge.  I’ll take a walk with sis tomorrow and see if anything better comes to mind.  She loves nothing more than following me around with a notepad, writing down the poetic gems that regularly fall from my genius lips.

Words that rhyme with hill:


Thursday 11th March 1804

10.00 pm

Words that rhyme with own:


Took a walk with Miss Melancholia today.  Went back to the water’s edge and she was full of how wonderful it all was and how glorious the daffodils were.  Must admit, I’d not spotted that there were millions of the damned things further up in the woods.  ‘Ooh, look at the daffs,’ she kept saying, ‘it’s like they’re laughing with the wind that’s blowing across the lake! ‘  Oh P-l-e-a-s-e, the woman knows nothing about poetic imagery.  ‘Write a poem about the daffs William’, she kept whinging.  ‘Ooh, and look at that pretty, floaty cloud Will……….poor little cloud up there on its own……..bit like me in that attic’ (she didn’t think I’d heard that last bit but I’m not falling for the guilt trip sister dear.)

We did pass quite a big rock just plonked there in the middle of the path.  A crow squawked its way past overhead.

11.00 pm

I walked around as lonely as a rock
that sits in the middle of a dirt road
When all at once I saw a shock
a shock of black squawking crows*
flying by the lake, flying in the breeze
then disappearing into the trees

*poetic licence being as there was just one (I know my poetry stuff)

Promising I think, except rocks can’t walk, which seems a bit implied in that first line.  Not a very good simile, or metaphor or whatever the heck it is.  Not a zinger as Coleridge would say. (NB check with mad Dot difference between simile/metaphor – she has her uses sometimes.)

Friday 12th March 1804


Took a butchers at that ‘secret’ journal Dorothy’s always scribbling away at.  She leaves it open right there on her bed.  Idiot.  Found an entry for the walk yesterday. ‘Took a wander round the lake with Will yesterday,’ she began.  Then burbled on and on about bloody daffodils.  According to her there were ‘more and yet more’. They ‘tossed and reeled and danced’.   ‘We saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road.  I never saw daffodils so beautiful…they looked so gay, ever glancing, ever changing……….blah, blah, blah.  Then she finished up with ‘wonder if William got the hint?’   I have no idea what that means.  If she means did I get the hint that she’s a raving, daffodil obsessed lunatic, well yes I did.  Best not to delve too deep into what goes on inside that woman’s head though.

Words that rhyme with hill:


2.00 am

I wonder if ‘walked’ is really the way to go in the first line.  Wander…wandered…..sounds good. (If I could just be truly alone for once – like that cloud Dot felt so sorry for.)  Those daffodils were pretty spectacular when I think about it.

Words that rhyme with hill:



Bloody brilliant – what it is to be blessed with poetic genius.

3.00 am

I wandered lonely as a cloud
that floats about on top of a hill
when all at once I saw a bunch
a bunch of yellow daffodils
at the side of the lake, under the trees
tossing and dancing with the breeze

Got it!  Another jewel in the poetic crown.  Three more verses and it’ll probably go down in history as my best poem – EVER.

Saturday 13th March 1804

4 am

Absolutely livid and it’s doing my sensitive, artistic head in.  That sister of mine must have got a sneak peak at this secret (not so secret as it turns out) diary.  Opened last night’s page to find she’d crossed out loads of that poetic stunner that took me all of 2 days to write and had written this rubbish underneath.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vale and hill
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.

Who does she think she is?  Who’s the genius around here?   ME that’s who.  Who’s a published poet?  Who’s paying for this house and new settees and suchlike?   I’ll tell you – Mr William Wordsworth and most definitely NOT Miss loopy fruitcake.   Is Dorothy Wordsworth a household name?  No?   Didn’t think so.

8.00 am




2 thoughts on “Spring is in the Air

  1. 😀 🙂 During rapid research for this post, I discovered that Wordsworth did actually keep a pony for ’emergency riding only’ (which I found hilarious; like I am with my phone)


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